Jo Strang, Associate Administrator for Railroad Safety/Chief Safety Officer
Jo Strang is the Associate Administrator for Railroad Safety/Chief Safety Officer for the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). In her current role, she provides regulatory oversight for rail safety in the United States and oversees the development and enforcement of safety regulations and programs related to the rail industry. Under the direction of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Strang also serves as the government-wide co-lead for the critical Safety.Data.Gov initiative.
Strang is the driving force in the implementation of the congressionally mandated requirements of the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (RSIA). Under her leadership, FRA completed the initial rollout of the RSIA mandate on Positive Train Control (PTC), which was the Agency’s largest undertaking to date. She also launched the Nation’s first pilot projects for near miss reporting on the Union Pacific Railroad, Canadian Pacific Railway, New Jersey Transit, and Amtrak. Initial results for the projects are very promising, with a 70 percent reduction in incidents at North Platte.
Strang originally joined FRA in 1995. During her tenure, she has held several positions, including Deputy Associate Administrator for Railroad Policy and Development from 2002–2006. In this position she was responsible for a variety of programs including research and development, and the passenger and freight programs. She received the Federal Laboratory Consortium’s Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer for her work in crash energy management. Strang also served as FRA’s Deputy Regional Administrator in the Chicago, Illinois, regional office from 1997–2000, where she oversaw the enforcement of the railroad safety regulations in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, and Indiana.
From 2000–2002, Strang served as the Associate Director for the National Transportation Safety Board, where she oversaw all rail and rail transit accident investigations in the United States. She received the Managing Director’s Award for her leadership and oversight of several hundred accident reports and her actions as the scene lead on notable rail accidents.
She holds a master of science in Economics from Marquette University. She earned her bachelor of science in Economics from the University of Cincinnati. In 2009, she received the Presidential Rank Award for her exceptional leadership of FRA’s Office of Railroad Safety.