Edward R. Hamberger, president and chief executive officer of the Association of American Railroads (AAR), announced that he will be retiring from the organization in early 2019 after over twenty years of service making him the longest-tenured head of the 84-year-old organization. Executive search firm Korn Ferry has been retained to lead the search for his successor. Hamberger has spent more than forty years focusing on the policies that shape America’s transportation sector, improving infrastructure and enhancing the nation’s rail network.
“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. “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.”
“Railroads will continue to deliver America’s future and I am confident that my successor will position this essential industry to meet the challenges of tomorrow,” added Hamberger. “With safety and investments at all-time highs, AAR’s new leader will play a significant role in advancing a flourishing, transformational industry that drives the nation’s economy.”
AAR Board of Directors Chair and Chairman, President and CEO of Norfolk Southern Railway Jim Squires added, “Ed Hamberger has been a forceful advocate for freight railroads and will leave behind a powerful legacy in Washington and in the industry. Ed helped expand and strengthen our industry’s voice on transportation, infrastructure and technology in Washington, and I look forward to the AAR continuing to be a powerful voice.”
One of the most effective transportation policy advocates in the United States, Hamberger was called to testify before Congress more than 85 times as the head of the AAR. He has successfully worked to maintain a balanced regulatory environment that enables continued record private investment in rail infrastructure. Prior to joining AAR, Hamberger worked for more than twenty years in executive and legislative capacities, including as the Assistant Secretary of Governmental Affairs at the U.S. Department of Transportation and as the General Counsel at the National Transportation Policy Study Commission.
Founded in 1934, AAR is the world's leading railroad policy, research, standard setting and technology organization that focuses on the safety and productivity of the U.S. freight rail industry. AAR Full Members include the major freight railroads in the United States, Canada and Mexico, as well as Amtrak. AAR Railroad Affiliate and Associate Members include commuter railroads, rail supply companies, engineering firms, signal and communications firms and rail car owners.