On January 3, Democrat Karen J. Hedlund was sworn in as a new member of the Surface Transportation Board (STB), succeeding Republican Ann D. Begeman.
Age of the railway Capitol Hill Associate Editor Frank N. Wilner was among the first to report on December 16, 2021 from Hedlund, confirmed by unanimous consent of the Senate.
Hedlund’s first term will expire on December 31, 2025. Begeman, whose second term expired in 2020, had served a maximum legal retention period of one year. Each of the five members of the STB is limited to two maximum terms of five years, with a period of one year if a successor has not been confirmed by the Senate.
The other members of the STB are STB chairman and Democrat Martin J. Oberman, whose first term expires on December 31, 2023; Democrat Robert M. Primus, whose first term expires on December 31, 2022; Republican Patrick J. Fuchs, whose first term expires on January 17, 2024; and Republican Michelle A. Schultz, whose first term expires November 11, 2026.
Hedlund most recently served as Vice President and National Strategy Advisor at WSP USA and worked with federal, state and local transportation agencies as well as private companies to facilitate the financing and development of transportation projects by through PPP. She has served as a strategic advisor on a number of WSP rail projects, including Amtrak’s Gateway program, O’Hare Express Rail and the California High-Speed Rail Program, and is a leader in peer-to-peer exchanges with state and local municipal authorities through the Build America Transportation Investment Center Institute.
Additionally, Hedlund served in the Obama Administration as Chief Legal Counsel to the Federal Highway Administration (2009-10) and as Chief Legal Counsel and Deputy Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration (2010-14). She had also been a partner in the law firms of Nossaman LLP, Skadden Arps and Mayer Brown, focusing on transportation matters. She received a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center and an undergraduate degree from Harvard University.