Nominated March 20, 2009, and confirmed by the United States Senate on April 29, 2009, Joseph C. Szabo is the twelfth Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the first to come from the ranks of rail workers. He leads a staff of over 900 professionals located in Washington DC and at field offices across the United States who develop and enforce safety regulations; manage financial assistance programs; and oversee research and technology development programs. Their mission: To enable the safe, reliable, and efficient movement of people and goods for a strong America, now and in the future.
Szabo is a fifth generation railroader who, between 2006 and 2009, was Vice President of the Illinois AFL-CIO. He has served as mayor of Riverdale, Illinois, a member of the South Suburban Mayors Transportation Committee, and Vice Chairman of the Chicago Area Transportation Study’s Executive Committee. In 2002, he chaired the Governor’s Freight Rail Sub-Committee and, in 2005, was assigned by the United Transportation Union International to the FRA’s Railroad Safety Advisory Committee (RSAC), where he participated in the development of rail-safety regulations.
Szabo has served on the Executive Council of Chicago Metropolis 2020, focusing on Land Use Planning and Transportation issues and was a member of the Chicagoland Metropolitan Planning Council. He holds a baccalaureate degree in Labor Relations from Governors State University and is the recipient of an honorary doctorate from Lewis University for his lifetime commitment to public service.