About STB > Board Members
The Board is authorized to have three members, appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate, each with a five-year term of office.
Chairman Daniel R. Elliott III
Chairman Daniel R. Elliott III was nominated to the Surface Transportation Board by President Barack Obama on January 13, 2015, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on June 22, 2015, and was sworn in as the Board’s chairman on June 26, 2015 for a term of office expiring December 31, 2018. This is Chairman Elliott’s second term at the Board, having previously served as the agency’s chairman from August 13, 2009 until December 31, 2014.
Chairman Elliott brings to the Board two decades of experience as an attorney, including 16 years litigating in the transportation field. Since first coming to the STB in 2009, Elliott has moved quickly to bring more openness to the agency. He has held public oral arguments on important cases, conducted numerous public hearings concerning important railroad-transportation rate and service matters, and is following through on President Obama’s push for government transparency. Chairman Elliott ensures that the Board communicates effectively with all of its stakeholders, including Members of Congress and federal officials; state, local and community leaders; transportation industry participants and shipper interests, as well as the general public.
Chairman Elliott had led the Board to become a true forum for shippers and railroads to resolve disputes without litigation when possible. Under Chairman Elliott’s leadership, the Board has promoted its dispute-arbitration system, bolstered the STB’s informal dispute resolution process, and expanded the agency’s Rail Customer and Public Assistance Program.
Within the Board, Chairman Elliott has implemented workplace policies that facilitate an open-door management environment, encourage creativity, and recognize and reward innovation. This workplace environment not only helps to retain skilled and dedicated workers, but also aids in the recruiting of the top-tier job candidates that are important to the agency’s mission. Under his leadership, the Board has been ranked the “Number 1” small federal agency by the Partnership for Public Service in its Best Places to Work in the Federal Government rankings for the last five years.
Prior to joining the Board Chairman Elliott served (since 1993) as associate general counsel to the United Transportation Union. At the UTU, he practiced before the STB, as well as the National Mediation Board and the National Labor Relations Board. Earlier, Chairman Elliott worked in private practice in Cleveland and Washington, D.C. handling a variety of litigation matters.
Chairman Elliott was born in Ann Arbor, Mich., in 1962 and grew up in Cleveland. He graduated from the University of Michigan in 1985 with a degree in political science and earned a law degree from Ohio State College of Law in 1989.
Ms. Begeman has served as a senior aide on Capitol Hill for 21 years, playing a key role in the crafting of major transportation legislation, including the ICC Termination Act, which created the STB.
Immediately prior to joining the Board, Ann served as Republican Staff Director for the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. She has also served as Acting Chief of Staff and Legislative Director for U.S. Senator John McCain and as a Legislative Assistant to U.S. Senator Larry Pressler. Ms. Begeman has also worked in the private sector, serving as a benefits specialist for First American Bankshares, Inc. She earned a B.S. in business administration from the University of South Dakota.
Ms. Begeman was first nominated by President Obama on December 20, 2010. She was also nominated on January 5, 2011 and confirmed by the U.S. Senate on April 14, 2011, for a term that expires Dec. 31, 2015. She served as the Board’s Vice Chairman from May 2, 2011, to January 3, 2012; from January 4, 2013, to May 27, 2014; and from January 1, 2015 to present.
Member - Deb Miller
Deb Miller was sworn in on April 28, 2014, as a Member of the Board for a term of office expiring on December 31, 2017, following her September 25, 2013, nomination to the Board by President Obama and her confirmation by the United States Senate on April 9, 2014. She was designated as the agency’s Vice Chairman beginning on May 28, 2014. On December 31, 2014, the STB publicly announced that date as the last day of former Chairman Daniel R. Elliott’s term, including a holdover period, and subsequently approved Vice Chairman Deb Miller to serve as the agency’s Acting Chairman upon Chairman Elliott’s departure from the Board and until President Barack Obama designated a Chairman for the agency. On that same date, the Board approved Board Member Ann Begeman to serve as Vice Chairman.
Commissioner Miller, a Democrat from Kansas, serves the seat formerly held by Francis P. Mulvey, whose term expired. She is the Board’s 12th Member since the agency’s inception in 1996.
Ms. Miller most recently served as a Senior Consultant with Cambridge Systematics, Inc., a firm specializing in transportation planning and policy, primarily for public-sector clients. From 2003 to 2011, she served as the Secretary of the Kansas Department of Transportation (Kansas DOT), a term of office marked by her distinguished service for three successive Governors of Kansas. She has the distinction of being the longest-serving Secretary of Transportation in Kansas history.
Prior to serving as Secretary of the Kansas DOT, Ms. Miller was a consultant at HNTB, a national architecture, engineering, and planning firm. In that position, she provided strategic planning and public-communications assistance to state departments of transportation and municipalities. She also has served as the Director of the Kansas DOT’s Division of Planning and Development, Special Assistant to the Secretary of Transportation, and as a Policy Assistant to the Governor of Kansas.
Ms. Miller has been active with the Transportation Research Board (TRB), a division of the National Research Council that is the principal operating agency of the National Academies of Sciences, and was a member of the TRB’s Executive Committee for five years, including a year serving as Chair. She also has been active with the American Association of Highway and Transportation Officials, where she headed numerous task forces and workgroups and served for nine years as the Chair of the Standing Committee on Planning. She also served on the Eno Foundation’s Board of Advisors.
Ms. Miller graduated magna cum laude from Kansas State University with a B.S. in Sociology.