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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

USDOT tabs Whitmer as deputy chief of staff


On Feb. 5, U.S. Department of Transportation named Martin Whitmer Jr. deputy chief of staff to succeed Vincent Taylor, who last month was named USDOT assistant secretary.

In addition to his new role, Whitmer also will serve as Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta's point person on the reauthorization of Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) and the energy bill.

In March 2001, Whitmer joined USDOT as assistant to the secretary for policy, advising on highway, transit, energy, motor-carrier and safety issues. From 1997-2001, he served as vice president of government relations for American Road and Transportation Builders Association, where he helped enact TEA-21.

Whitmer also previously served as a Republican lobbyist for Laborers' International Union of North America, and in various capacities for National Rifle Association and former U.S. Sen. Phil Gramm (R-Texas).

"[Whitmer] has helped the department move forward on many important issues, most notably surface transportation policy, safety, energy and environmental stewardship," said Mineta in a prepared statement.