California High-Speed Rail authority elects Chairman

California High-Speed Rail authority elects Chairman

At its regularly scheduled board meeting, the California High-Speed Rail Authority elected Dan Richard to be its chairman, succeeding Thomas Umberg who resigned that position last month and will remain on the board as an active member.

“I’d like to thank the board for its vote of confidence. I’m committed to the high-speed rail in California,” Richard said. “This critical infrastructure project will help California meet transportation needs for a growing population and mean a better and brighter future for the entire state. It will also create much needed new construction jobs and business opportunities.”

Richard added, “I’d also like to thank Tom Umberg for his leadership and dedication to this project.”

Dan Richard of Piedmont, has been a principal of Dan Richard Advisors since 2010. He was managing partner and co-founder of Heritage Oak Capital Partners, an infrastructure finance firm, from 2007 to 2009 and was senior vice president of public policy and governmental relations at Pacific Gas and Electric Company from 1997 to 2006.

Richard was an elected member of the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District from 1992 to 2004, where he served twice as president of the Board. At the Bay Area Rapid Transit District, Richard led efforts to secure $4 billion in capital for system rehabilitation projects, the transit system’s expansion to the San Francisco Airport and seismic retrofit programs. 

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Richard was a principal at Morse, Richard, Weisenmiller & Associates from 1986 to 1996, a firm serving the independent power industry and project finance lending community. He was vice president of Independent Power Corporation from 1983 to 1986. Richard served as Governor Brown’s deputy legal affairs secretary from 1982 to 1983 and deputy assistant for science and technology from 1978 to 1979.  He was advisor to the chairman of the California Energy Commission from 1978 to 1982.

Richard began his career at National Aeronautics and Space Administration, where he was an assistant to the deputy associate administrator from 1972 to 1978. Richard received his Juris Doctor degree from McGeorge School of Law. 

California’s High-Speed Train Project  

The California High-Speed Rail Authority is developing a San Francisco Bay Area to Los Angeles and Anaheim high-speed rail system that will operate at speeds of up to 220 miles per hour. The full system will connect all of the state’s major urban centers, including Sacramento and San Diego. Initial infrastructure construction will begin in the Central Valley, the backbone of the system, in 2012. The project will generate 100,000 construction job-years of employment over the next five years and nearly one million economy-wide job-years over the life of the project. The project is being funded through voter-approved state bonds, federal funding grants, local funding, and public-private partnerships.