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Hamberger to retire from railroads association

CEO to end 20-year career at AAR in 2019


May 16, 2018
By Lori Sharn

Edward Hamberger, one of the most influential voices in transportation policy, will retire as CEO of the Association of American Railroads in early 2019. He has led the organization since 1998. 

As the top advocate for the freight rail industry, Hamberger has been in the thick of battles over rail car safety, the size and weight of highway trucks (railroads’ key competitor) and freight rates and service. Hamberger has testified before Congress more than 85 times, according to AAR. 

Executive recruiting firm Korn Ferry has been tapped to assist AAR in the search for a new CEO. 

“It has been a privilege to help one of America’s vital industries—freight rail—navigate through a period when the fundamentals of Washington, the economy and our industry have evolved,” Hamberger said in the May 16 announcement. “From protecting the economic framework that revitalized America’s railroads to clearing the path to developing and deploying new safety technologies, I am extremely proud of the work we have done together over the last two decades, none of which would have been possible without the leadership of our members and the hard work of AAR’s dedicated staff.”

Before joining AAR, Hamberger was a managing partner in the Washington, D.C., office of law firm Baker Donelson.  He began his transportation policy career in in 1977 as general counsel of the National Transportation Policy Study Commission. In 1988, Hamberger was named assistant secretary for governmental affairs at the U.S. Department of Transportation. He has a law degree from Georgetown University.