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The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) has appointed Sarah Feinberg as acting administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). Former FRA Administrator Joseph Szabo stepped down on Friday.Feinberg becomes the second woman to lead the FRA since its founding in 1966. She joined the USDOT in September 2013 as chief of staff. One of her key priorities in the position was to lead efforts on the $302 billion surface transportation reauthorization plan sent to Congress last year.
"Sarah has been my partner and served as my closest advisor during her tenure as chief of staff. With her ability to bring clarity, focus and direction to complex challenges, she has become a proven leader within our agency," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in a press release. "Sarah has the right mix of experience and skills to adeptly lead the FRA as it continues its important work to ensure the safe, reliable and efficient movement of people and goods."Prior to joining the USDOT, Feinberg was director of corporate and strategic communications for Facebook, where she managed Washington, D.C.-based outreach and communications, as well as the company’s political and crisis communications. She previously served as director of communications and business strategy for Bloomberg LP.Feinberg's Capitol Hill experience includes a stint in the Obama administration in 2008 as special assistant to the president and senior adviser to White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. Prior to that, she was communications director for the House Democratic Caucus, press secretary at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and national press secretary to former Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.).