"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," said Dan Richard, board chairman. "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.
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. His experience at the federal level includes serving as a member of then 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 its 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.
"I want to congratulate Jeff Morales on his appointment as CEO of the California High-Speed Rail Authority," stated U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "Jeff has firsthand knowledge of the transportation challenges California faces and his many years of experience with both national and local transportation issues, will be a vital asset as this project moves forward...As soon as the California legislature votes to move the project forward, thousands of Californians can go to work building the high-speed rail network that will keep their economy growing for years to come."