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Karen Hedlund, former deputy administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), has been named director of public-private partnerships in the strategic consulting group of Parsons Brinckerhoff.In her new role, Hedlund will work with federal, state and local transportation agencies, and private companies to facilitate financing and development of transportation projects through public-private partnerships. "Karen is well known as one of the nation’s most skilled experts in public-private partnerships," said John Porcari, senior vice president and national director of strategic consulting at Parsons Brinckerhoff, in a prepared statement. "Her expertise will be extremely valuable to clients who are looking to find innovative ways to finance and build transportation infrastructure with the help of the private sector. In addition, Karen’s nationwide experience in every aspect of passenger and freight rail issues is invaluable." Hedlund was appointed FRA deputy administrator in November 2011 after serving as the agency’s chief counsel since June 2010. During her FRA tenure, she provided leadership for the administration’s $12 billion high-speed rail grant program, including $3 billion of investments in the California High Speed Rail (CHSR) project, and $3 billion in improvements to the Northeast Corridor. She advised on FRA-funded multi-state locomotive and passenger equipment purchases, and on CHSR and Amtrak trainset procurements, including consideration of "Buy America" waiver requests for non-domestic equipment manufacturers.Hedlund also oversaw the FRA’s Railroad Rehabilitation and Infrastructure Finance program, including review of loan requests to finance new passenger-rail systems as well as implementation of positive train control systems for MTA Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad. Hedlund served as chief counsel of the Federal Highway Administration in 2009-2010, where she directed a legal staff in the implementation of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grants. Before that, she was a partner in the law firms Nossaman LLP, Skadden Arps and Mayer Brown. Hedlund led the legal advisory team on public-private partnership projects such as the Silver Line extension of the Metrorail system in Washington, D.C., the Port of Miami Tunnel, the T-REX light rail in Denver, the Triangle Expressway in North Carolina and the Hudson-Bergen light rail in New Jersey.
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