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Surface Transportation Board (STB) Chairman Daniel Elliott III yesterday announced Deb Miller has been sworn in as the 12th board member since the agency was formed in 1996.She will serve a term that expires on Dec. 31, 2017. President Barack Obama nominated Miller for the STB post in September 2013 and the Senate confirmed the appointment on April 9. A Democrat from Kansas, Miller will fill the seat formerly held by Francis Mulvey, whose term expired.Miller most recently was a senior consultant with Cambridge Systematics Inc., a firm specializing in transportation planning and policy. From 2003 to 2011, she served as the secretary of the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT), an office she held for three successive Kansas governors. Miller was the longest-serving transportation secretary in KDOT's history.Prior to her KDOT post, Miller was a consultant at HNTB Corp., a national architecture, engineering and planning firm. She also served stints as the director of KDOT's Division of Planning and Development, special assistant to the transportation secretary and policy assistant to the governor of Kansas.Miller has been active with the Transportation Research Board and was a member of the board's executive committee for five years, including a year as chair. She also headed numerous task forces and workgroups for the American Association of Highway and Transportation Officials, where she chaired the Standing Committee on Planning for nine years.Meanwhile, the STB has been ranked as the top small federal agency for innovation by the Partnership for Public Service's (PPS) "2013 Best Places to Work in the Federal Government® Analysis: Innovation" report for the fourth consecutive year.The board achieved a 2013 small-agency innovation score of 83.9 out of 100, an improvement over its 2012 score and the highest innovation score among all federal agencies. PPS previously has ranked the STB as one of the federal government's "Best Places to Work" for five years in a row from 2009 to 2013.The board attributes its top innovation ranking to the active encouragement of employee suggestions, weekly open-door meetings with Chairman Elliott and the recognition of employee contributions to the agency's mission, STB officials said in a press release.