About STB > Board Members
The Board is authorized to have five members, appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate, each with a five-year term of office.
Acting Chairman - Ann D. Begeman
Ann Begeman was designated Acting Chairman of the Surface Transportation Board by President Donald J. Trump, on January 23, 2017. Ms. Begeman is currently serving her second, five-year term as a Member of the Board following her nomination by President Barack Obama on December 7, 2016, and her unanimous confirmation by the U.S. Senate on December 9, 2016. Ann first joined the Board on May 2, 2011, bringing over 20 years of transportation policy experience to the agency. Her current term expires December 31, 2020.
Prior to her appointment, Ms. Begeman held Senate staff positions on Capitol Hill, playing a key role in the crafting of major transportation legislation, including the ICC Termination Act, which sunset the Interstate Commerce Commission and created the STB. She served as the Republican Staff Director for the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation under the leadership of U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and as the Committee's Deputy Staff Director and Transportation Policy Advisor under the leadership of U.S. Senator John McCain.
Ms. Begeman has also served as Legislative Director and Acting Chief of Staff for Senator John McCain. She first began working on transportation policy as a Legislative Assistant to U.S. Senator Larry Pressler. She also worked in the private sector, serving as a benefits specialist for First American Bankshares, Inc.
In carrying out her duties as Acting Chairman, Ann is committed to working with her Board Member colleagues and Board staff to help make the agency more accountable, transparent, and timely. Since joining the Board, Ann has served as the Board's Vice Chairman from May 2, 2011, to January 3, 2012; from January 4, 2013, to May 27, 2014; and from January 1, 2015, to January 7, 2016. She has also served as Co-Chair of the National Grain Car Council for 2011, 2013, and 2015.
Ann is a native of Humboldt, South Dakota. She earned a B.S. in business administration from the University of South Dakota.
Vice Chairman - Daniel R. Elliott III
Vice Chairman Daniel R. Elliott III served his first term of office as a Board Member and Chairman of the Surface Transportation Board from August 13, 2009 until December 31, 2014. President Barack Obama nominated him for another term on January 13, 2015, he was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on June 22, 2015, and he was again sworn in as the Board’s Chairman on June 26, 2015, for a second term of office expiring December 31, 2018. Vice Chairman Elliott served in that capacity, from June 26, 2015 until January 25, 2017, following former Member and Vice Chairman Ann D. Begeman’s designation as the STB Acting Chairman by President Donald Trump, and the agency’s annual rotation of the Vice Chairmanship.
Vice Chairman Elliott brings to the Board two decades of experience as an attorney, including 16 years litigating in the transportation field. Since first coming to the STB in 2009, Elliott moved quickly to bring more openness to the agency. He held public oral arguments on important cases, conducted numerous public hearings concerning important railroad-transportation rate and service matters, and followed through on President Obama’s push for government transparency. Vice Chairman Elliott ensured that the Board communicated effectively with all of its stakeholders, including Members of Congress and federal officials; state, local and community leaders; transportation industry participants and shipper interests, as well as the general public.
Vice Chairman Elliott led the Board to become a true forum for shippers and railroads to resolve disputes without litigation when possible. Under his leadership, the STB promoted its dispute-arbitration system, bolstered the agency’s informal dispute-resolution process, and expanded its Rail Customer and Public Assistance Program.
During 2015-16, Vice Chairman Elliott guided the Board in the implementation of perhaps one of the most significant legislative developments affecting the STB since its 1996 inception, that being the December 18, 2015 passage of the Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act of 2015. The Act changed the Board into a fully independent federal agency; marked the STB’s first reauthorization since the agency’s creation; and directed the agency’s implementation of the legislation’s many provisions which, under his direction, the Board dutifully, timely, and successfully accomplished.
Within the Board, Vice Chairman Elliott implemented workplace policies that facilitate an open-door management environment, encouraged creativity, and recognized and rewarded innovation. Such a workplace environment not only helps to retain skilled and dedicated workers, but also aids in the recruiting of the top-tier job candidates that are important to the STB’s mission. Under his leadership, the agency ranked "Number 1" among small federal agency by the Partnership for Public Service in its Best Places to Work in the Federal Government rankings for five years.
Prior to joining the Board, Vice Chairman Elliott served (since 1993) as Associate General Counsel to the United Transportation Union. At the UTU, he practiced before the STB and federal courts, as well as before the National Mediation Board and the National Labor Relations Board. Earlier, Elliott had worked in private practice in Cleveland and Washington, D.C., handling a variety of litigation matters.
Vice Chairman Elliott was born in Ann Arbor, Mich. in 1962 and grew up in Cleveland. He graduated from the University of Michigan in 1985 with a degree in political science and earned a law degree from the Moritz College of Law-Ohio State University in 1989.
Member - Deb Miller
Deb Miller was sworn in on April 28, 2014, as a Member of the Board for a term of office expiring on December 31, 2017, following her September 25, 2013, nomination to the Board by President Obama and her confirmation by the United States Senate on April 9, 2014. She was designated Vice Chairman (May 27, 2014-December 31, 2014); served as Acting Chairman (January 1, 2015-June 26, 2015); and was again designated Vice Chairman on January 7, 2016, in the agency’s annual rotation of the Vice Chairmanship.
Commissioner Miller, a Democrat from Kansas, serves the seat formerly held by Francis P. Mulvey, whose term expired. She is the Board’s 12th Member since the agency’s inception in 1996.
Ms. Miller most recently served as a Senior Consultant with Cambridge Systematics, Inc., a firm specializing in transportation planning and policy, primarily for public-sector clients. From 2003 to 2011, she was the Secretary of the Kansas Department of Transportation (Kansas DOT), a term of office marked by her distinguished service for three successive Governors of Kansas. She has the distinction of being the longest-serving Secretary of Transportation in Kansas history.
Prior to serving as Secretary of the Kansas DOT, Ms. Miller was a consultant at HNTB, a national architecture, engineering, and planning firm. In that position, she provided strategic planning and public-communications assistance to state departments of transportation and municipalities. She also has served as the Director of the Kansas DOT’s Division of Planning and Development, Special Assistant to the Secretary of Transportation, and as a Policy Assistant to the Governor of Kansas.
Ms. Miller has been active with the Transportation Research Board (TRB), a division of the National Research Council that is the principal operating agency of the National Academies of Sciences, and was a member of the TRB’s Executive Committee for five years, including a year serving as Chair. She also has been active with the American Association of Highway and Transportation Officials, where she headed numerous task forces and workgroups and served for nine years as the Chair of the Standing Committee on Planning. She also served on the Eno Foundation’s Board of Advisors.
Ms. Miller graduated magna cum laude from Kansas State University with a B.S. in Sociology.