Ian Jefferies headshot Ian Jefferies

Jefferies selected to lead AAR as next president and CEO

After an exhaustive executive search, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) announced today that Ian Jefferies will become the organization’s next president and CEO on January 1, 2019. Known as a trusted voice on rail and transportation issues, Jefferies honed the skills and expertise necessary to steer the world’s leading rail policy and research organization during his tenure as AAR’s senior vice president of government affairs and as a senior policy advisor on Capitol Hill. Jefferies will continue to lead the organization’s legislative efforts through the end of the year and coordinate with AAR’s long-time President and CEO Edward R. Hamberger to ensure a smooth transition.
“For years, we have known that Ian understands both the policy and priorities of the rail industry, and he has been a proven advocate for our issues,” said Jim Squires, the AAR board of directors chair and Norfolk Southern Corporation chairman, president, and CEO. “Ian will extend a legacy of vision, leadership and energy to write an exciting new chapter for the AAR while ensuring that it remains a clear and trusted voice in Washington.”
“I am honored to work for a bedrock industry that delivers every day for the economy, and I appreciate the confidence placed in me to guide the AAR as we work to build an even stronger future for rail,” said Jefferies. “As change accelerates in Washington and the transportation sector, freight railroads are on track to meet tomorrow’s challenges while remaining steadfastly committed to the safety, efficiency and sustainability that define railroading in America. Railroads are charting a bold path forward, and AAR’s dedicated team is armed with the knowledge and insight to help build tomorrow’s railroad today.”
Leading the industry’s advocacy efforts in Washington, Jefferies has worked on a bipartisan basis to build consensus and broad coalitions in support of railroad’s policy priorities before Congress and the administration. Leading the AAR’s government relations department, Jefferies has helped secure significant legislative victories, including managing advocacy surrounding the Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization Act of 2015, securing tank car safety enhancements in the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act and defeating multiple efforts to increase truck size and weight limits.
Prior to joining the AAR in 2013, Jefferies worked for more than a decade in government, including as a senior policy advisor to the chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. He also worked for the U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of the Inspector General and the U.S. Government Accountability Office before working on Capitol Hill. Jefferies earned a B.S. in Economics from the University of Kentucky and a Master’s of Science in Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University.

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.