Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx appointed Sarah Feinberg to be the Acting Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) on January 9, 2015. As Acting Administrator, Feinberg will assume the role as the Nation’s chief safety regulator for freight and passenger rail.
Feinberg is the second woman to lead the agency since its founding in 1966. Feinberg leads a staff of nearly 900 professionals in Washington, D.C. and eight regional offices across the country.
The mission of the FRA is to enable the safe, reliable and efficient movement of people and goods for a strong America, now and in the future. The FRA is one of ten operating modal agencies that make up the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT). The FRA workforce develops and enforces rail safety regulations; manages a $20 billion rail investment portfolio; and oversees research and technology development programs. The FRA is also responsible for administering federal grants to Amtrak and has oversight for the railroad’s expenditures.
As DOT Chief of Staff, Feinberg provided strategic advice and counsel to the Secretary of Transportation regarding operational and legislative initiatives across all modes of transportation. One of her key priorities as the Chief of Staff was to lead the effort on the Department and Secretary’s $302 billion surface transportation reauthorization plan.
Prior to joining USDOT, Feinberg served as the Director of Corporate and Strategic communications at Facebook where she managed the company’s Washington-based outreach and communications as well as the company’s political and crisis communications. She was also previously Bloomberg LP’s Director of Communications and Business Strategy.
From 2009-2010 she served in the Obama Administration as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Advisor to White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. As the Chief of Staff’s liaison to the Obama economic team, the national security team, and the press and communications departments, she most notably worked on the White House’s strategic communications response to the country's fiscal and economic crisis, the H1N1 flu pandemic and the mine disaster in West Virginia.
Prior to serving in the White House, Feinberg spent several years on Capitol Hill, serving as communications director for the House Democratic Caucus, and the national press secretary to former Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle.
Feinberg is a graduate of Washington and Lee University with a degree in politics.
Updated: Monday, January 12, 2015