President Trump has named Ann D. Begeman to be acting chairman of the U.S. Surface Transportation Board.
Begeman, a Republican and South Dakota native, is currently serving her second five-year term on the STB, having been re-nominated in December by President Obama and unanimously confirmed by the Senate. That term expires on Dec. 31, 2020.
She initially joined the STB on May 2, 2011, after more than 20 years as a staff member on Capitol Hill.
A news release by the STB that announced Begeman’s appointment said that while working in Senate staff positions she played “ . . . a key role in the crafting of major transportation legislation, including the ICC [Interstate Commerce Commission] Termination Act, which created the STB.”
Among Begeman’s appointment were serving as the Republican staff director for the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation under former U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) and as the committee’s deputy staff director and transportation policy adviser under Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona).
Begeman also served as legislative director and acting chief of staff for McCain and as a legislative assistant for former Senator Larry Pressler (R-South Dakota).
She worked as a benefits specialist for First American Bankshares. Begeman grew up in Humboldt, South Dakota, and earned a B.S. in business administration from the University of South Dakota.
Railway Age reported that Begeman does not want to be permanent chairman and will hold the acting chair title until two more STB members are appointed and confirmed by the Senate.
A 2015 reauthorization of the STB expanded the STB from three to five members. Other current STB members include Democrats Daniel R. Elliott III, the previous chairman, and Deb Miller.