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Rail News: Amtrak

Amtrak promotes Harris to president, Williams to EVP

Harris (left) and Williams (right)
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Amtrak CEO Stephen Gardner yesterday announced the promotions of Roger Harris to president and Gerhard "Gery" Williams to executive vice president of service delivery and operations, effective July 5.

"Amtrak has entered an exciting new era of growth and development, with more opportunities than ever before,” said Gardner in a press release. “The appointments … will help the company accelerate our progress in recovering, growing and transforming the business."

As president, Harris will report to Gardner and lead the coordination of Amtrak service delivery and operations, marketing, customer service, network planning, real estate and accessibility functions. He has more than 25 years' experience in the transportation industry and has served as Amtrak’s chief commercial officer in charge of marketing and revenue since April 2019.

Reporting to Harris will be Williams; Dennis Newman, EVP of strategy and planning; and his current direct reports while Amtrak seeks a new chief commercial officer.

Williams will succeed Scot Naparstek, who is retiring to Texas after 10 years of service at Amtrak. Williams will lead the strategic development of Amtrak's operating capabilities, including the transportation, mechanical, infrastructure and customer service functions. He will also oversee the day-to-day delivery and improvement of services to Amtrak customers onboard its trains and in its stations.

Williams joined Amtrak in June 2017 as VP and chief engineer responsible for the maintenance, construction and delivery of railway infrastructure assets, including the Northeast Corridor. Since January, he has served as senior VP of service delivery and operations. Prior to Amtrak, he held a range of senior leadership roles at CSX, including as VP of mechanical, chief mechanical officer and AVP of network operations and locomotive management.

Naparstek has served as Amtrak's EVP of service delivery and operations since January 2017. In that role, he led Amtrak operations through the COVID-19 pandemic and guided the railroad’s adoption of major safety improvements, including positive train control and the railroad’s Safety Management System.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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