As Associate Administrator for Railroad Policy and Development (RPD) since January 2012, Paul Nissenbaum is responsible for Federal rail investment programs, research & development, planning and policy analysis. RPD’s 80-plus professionals develop and implement FRA’s funding programs – including the High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) Program, capital and operating grants to Amtrak, Rail Line Relocation grants, rail-related grants under the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program, and credit under the Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) program – along with the research and development program providing innovations in safety, security, efficiency and capacity. The office provides the policy and planning tools, environmental reviews, railroad engineering services, business and economics analysis, network modeling, program oversight and technical assistance essential to develop and sustain thriving passenger and freight rail services across the country.
During the prior four years, Nissenbaum served as Director of Passenger and Freight Programs under the Office of Railroad Policy and Development. In that role, he oversaw FRA’s implementation of the Passenger Rail Investment Act (PRIIA) of 2008, and development of the HSIPR program, including building new partnerships with State DOTs, railroads and other stakeholders, and expanding FRA’s capacity to carry out its new responsibilities.
Prior to FRA, Nissenbaum worked at Amtrak for nine years, serving in several capacities including Vice President of Planning, and was lead author of Amtrak's 2005 blueprint for change, the Strategic Reform Initiatives. He also served four years in Congressional offices on Capitol Hill, and nine years directing a surface transportation and environmental consulting practice. Nissenbaum holds a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, and a Bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University.