SACRAMENTO, Calif. – 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).
“117 days ago, 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 Angles 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.
Jeff Morales’ curriculum vitae follows.
B.S., Biology, George Washington University, Washington, DC, 1983
Eno Transportation Foundation: Board of Advisors; University of California-Davis Sustainable Transportation Center: External Advisory Council; Women’s Transportation Seminar: International Advisory Board; Surface Transportation Policy Project: Board Member; Transportation Research Board, Committee on New Public Transportation Systems and Technology: Member
Jeff has a strong public sector career background with a focus on transportation policy and public-private partnerships. His national leadership was underscored by being appointed as a member of the Transition Team for President-Elect Barack Obama, responsible for developing a roadmap for the incoming Administration, including key policy recommendations and preparation of the Transportation Secretary-designate. An expert in strategic planning and program implementation, Jeff is nationally recognized for developing innovative policies and practices that have resulted in improved productivity and customer service across the agencies he has served.
As director of the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), Jeff 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. This experience provides him with a unique credential—direct involvement in more public-private partnerships than any other state transportation official (South Bay Expressway, San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, Alameda Corridor, Orange County Foothill Eastern, Orange County San Joaquin, and SR 91 express lanes). His perspective on what it takes for public and private sectors to work together in true partnership is invaluable for those who sit on both sides of the table.
Jeff also served as executive vice president of the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), where he spearheaded major reforms to improve service and increase ridership at the nation’s second-largest transit agency. Those efforts were instrumental in reversing the steady decline in ridership that had prevailed for the previous 15 years. Prior to his tenure at the CTA, he was a senior staff member with former Vice President Al Gore’s National Performance Review, the task force designed to reinvent the federal government. In 1996-1997, Jeff was Issues Director of the White House Commission on Aviation Safety and Security. He also held senior positions at the U.S. Department of Transportation and on the staff of the U.S. Senate.
Representative Project Experience
Select Presentations and Articles