Former Surface Transportation Board (Board) Vice Chairman J. J. Simmons, III, a Democrat from Oklahoma, was one of the Board’s three original Members (along with former Chairman Linda J. Morgan and former Vice Chairman Gus A. Owen) upon the agency’s inception on January 1, 1996. He served until the end of 1996.
Prior to his service at the Board, Vice Chairman Simmons was a Commissioner at the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC), the Board’s predecessor agency, from 1982-3. He resigned that position upon his confirmation as Under Secretary of the U. S. Department of the Interior (Interior), a position he held from 1983-4. He rejoined the ICC in 1984 and continued his service there (including the position of Vice Chairman in 1986, 1989, and 1993) until 1995. He was one of the last ICC Commissioners at that agency.
Prior to joining the ICC, Vice Chairman Simmons served as the Vice President, Government Relations, of the Amerada Hess Corporation (1970-82). Before that, he served as the Administrator of Interior’s Oil Import Administration (1968-70), Assistant Director of Interior’s Office of Oil and Gas (1966-8), and a Domestic Petroleum Production Specialist in the Office of Oil and Gas (1961-6). From 1949-61, Commissioner Simmons served as Geologist, Secretary-Treasurer and Vice-President of Simmons Royalty Company of Muskogee, Oklahoma.
Vice Chairman Simmons graduated from the University of Detroit in 1947 with a degree in civil engineering, and received his B.S. in Geological Engineering from St. Louis University in 1949.