California High-Speed Rail Authority hires new CEO

California High-Speed Rail Authority hires new CEO

Following an extensive international search, the California High-Speed Rail Authority Board of Directors has announced the hiring of Jeff Morales as the Authority’s new Chief Executive Officer (CEO). “When I was elected Chair of the Authority’s Board of Directors, I stated, ‘Our challenge now is to look at what it will take to actually bring this system forward.’ Since that time we have made significant progress toward that goal,” said Board Chairman Dan Richard. “Our board delivered a revised business plan for a system that will connect San Francisco and Los Angeles by building upon regional transit systems at a cost of $30 billion less than estimated in the draft plan. Recently, the independent Peer Review Group issued a report that acknowledged this plan for being greatly improved in several key areas.”

“We know we have much more work ahead to make high-speed rail a reality, but today we take a giant step forward with the naming of the Authority’s new CEO. Jeff Morales is exactly the right person to take the helm at this pivotal time and capitalize on the positive momentum that has built up over the last several months. This Board was deeply impressed by his extensive experience in large and complex transportation issues and projects on the local, state, federal and international levels. He has a solid track record of creativity and innovation in the delivery of on-time, on-budget infrastructure projects,” concluded Richard.

Jeff Morales has a distinguished record of experience managing large and complex transportation issues and projects. As the former Director of the California Department of Transportation, Morales managed a $10 billion program and more than 23,000 employees working to build, maintain and operate the largest state transportation system in the U.S. Morales is the past Executive Director of the Chicago Transit Authority where he spearheaded major reforms at the nation’s second-largest transit agency. His experience at the federal level includes serving as a member of President-Elect Obama’s transition team focusing on transportation, Vice President Al Gore’s National Performance Review, the White House Commission on Aviation Safety and Security, the United States Department of Transportation and U.S. Senate staff. He is currently a Senior Vice President of Parsons Brinckerhoff Americas and serves as their Director of Strategic Initiatives and Government Relations.

“I am honored to be part of the Authority’s team and look forward to working with partners across the state to deliver this important project,” said Morales.