High-Speed Rail Authority names new CEO

Jeff Morales worked on President Barack Obama's transportation transition team

The California High-Speed Rail Authority Board of Directors announced Tuesday, May 29, that it will hire Jeff Morales as its new CEO.

Morales has experience managing major transportation projects, including projects with the California Department of Transportation and the Chicago Transit Authority. He has also worked at the federal level on such projects as President Obama's transportation transition team and Vice President Al Gore's National Performance Review. He currently works as the senior vice president of Parsons Brinckerhoff Americas and is serving as its director of strategic initiatives and government relations.

Board Chairman Dan Richard said he and the rest of the board were impressed with Morales's experience with and dedication to transportation issues on a large scale.

"Jeff Morales is exactly the right person to take the helm at this pivotal time and capitalize on the positive momentum that has built up over the last several months," Richard stated in a press release.

— Lauren Sliter


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Posted by Morris Brown
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on May 30, 2012 at 4:11 pm

The article here really fails to reveal the true nature of the appointment of Mr. Morales to be the new CEO of the High Speed Rail Authority.

The LA Times has done an outstanding job analyzing the appointment.


Web Link

The Times notes that Morales is now employed by Parsons Brinkerhoff, the very prime contractor that is receiving millions of dollars for contracts with the Authority, currently doing all the studies and preparing bid contracts for construction.

Talk about the “revolving door” and putting a “fox in the hen house”; my word. Such arrogance on the part of the Authority is certainly not new.

The last paragraph in the article:

“Senate transportation committee Chairman Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) said, "I am troubled by the relationship. It is hard to separate the conflicts."

Indeed this is a real concern. Furthermore, Morales has had no experience in building a High Speed Rail project; surely that should have been an absolute requirement to even be considered for this appointment.

When I talk to most citizens here in the Bay Area, I come away with the impression they think the project is dead, or about to be killed. Let me tell you, from that. Despite all the negative reports to the Legislature from the LAO, the State Auditor, the Peer Review Group, this project has become a major priority of Gov. Brown and he is bound and determined to push this project through.

Palo Alto Councilman Larry Klein, gave an excellent assessment of the situation at a recent PA council meeting. You can view at:


Web Link

Finally, on CNN cable, Anderson Cooper did about 5 minutes on the HSR project here.

You can view at:

Web Link

The comparison to Solyndra is appropriate; but Solyndra is small potatoes compared to this monster.

Morris Brown
Menlo Park.

Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 30, 2012 at 7:06 pm

Gov. Brown is pushing this thing because he is a union lacky. The labor unions are really the only ones at this point that want HSR built. The costs to California be damned. They want those jobs! Never mind it's really no longer truly "high speed." Jerry Brown will continue to kiss their ass. He wants to be reelected as governor. He wants union support and money to do that. Follow the money.

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