The US High Speed Rail Association (USHSR) selected Dan Richard as the new chair of its advisory board. Richard was officially confirmed as chair during the High-Speed Rail Leadership Summit this past month in San Jose, Calif. He succeeds Rod Diridon Sr., who has served as advisory board chair since 2011.
The USHSR Advisory Board is comprised of peer leaders in academia, industry, and government to provide guidance and counsel to advance the development of modern high-speed rail passenger networks in America.
Richard currently serves as chair of the California High Speed Rail Authority (CAHSRA), having been appointed by Gov. Edmund G. Brown in 2012. Under Richard's leadership, the authority has begun construction of America's first true high-speed rail system. With 119 miles of new infrastructure currently under construction in California's Central Valley, the authority is establishing the backbone of the state's modern rail network that will connect the larger cities of Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, and Sacramento, as well as a number of smaller cities.
Richard has been a principal of Dan Richard Advisors since 2010. Prior to that, he was managing partner and co-founder of Heritage Oak Capital Partners, an infrastructure finance firm, from 2007 to 2009 and was sr. VP, public policy, and governmental relations at Pacific Gas and Electric Co. from 1997 to 2006.
Diridon is stepping down after serving as chair of the advisory board during the past decade, and will remain as chairman emeritus. California Govs. Davis and Schwarzenegger appointed him to the California High-Speed Rail Authority Board, of which he is now Chair Emeritus.
Diridon helped found, and is Chair Emeritus of, the High-Speed and Intercity Rail Committee and the National High-Speed Rail Corridors Coalition of the American Public Transportation Association. In 1992, he served as the chair of APTA and for a decade as North American vice chair of the International Transit Association (UITP) in Brussels.