Job Overview


(NOTE: DOT’s SES performance management system certification is pending. Therefore, the salary range for new SES members is $119,554 - $165,300. SES members currently earning above this range maintain current salary if selected for this position.)

The Federal Railroad Administration’s mission is to enable the safe, reliable, and efficient movement of people and goods for a strong America, now and in the future. 

The Associate Administrator for Railroad Safety/Chief Safety Officer is responsible for providing leadership and oversight for the enforcement of all Federal laws and related regulations that are designed to promote the overall safety of the National rail network.  The position does require the incumbent to obtain and maintain a Top Secret clearance and is subject to pre-employment and random drug testing.  This is a career position in the Senior Executive Service (SES).

Rail – Moving America Forward 


The Associate Administrator for Railroad Safety/Chief Safety Officer is the principal advisor to the Administrator, Deputy Administrator and Executive Director for all aspects of railroad safety.  Responsibilities include:

  • Providing leadership in strategic planning efforts to prepare for the future of rail in the United States and ensures goals are aligned with the Departmental Strategic Plan. 
  • Providing leadership to a geographically dispersed staff located around the country. 
  • Providing leadership to the review and implementation of safety legislation to ensure goals and timelines are met. 
  • Planning, developing and administering an effective and comprehensive agency program to achieve continuous safety improvement.
  • Administering policies and programs that encourage broad constituency participation and promote responsiveness to their problems, concerns and needs pertinent to the FRA mission.
  • Providing leadership and oversight to safety subject matter experts to direct the investigation of railroad accidents in which there is a fatality, substantial property damage, a public interest or which involve a passenger train. 
  • Directing the formulation of plans for the development, establishment and maintenance of written procedures for carrying out each type of safety inspection (operating practices, hazardous materials, motive power & equipment, positive train control, signal and train control, and track), including appropriate directives; expansion of accident/hazard/deficiency analysis programs; re-inspection criteria; and immediate response capabilities. 
  • Directing the establishment of criteria and procedures for the inspection, maintenance, correction, reports and certification of all locomotives, cars, appurtenances, track, and signal systems.
  • Directing the development and administration of various safety programs, such as:  drug and alcohol program; risk reduction program; rail-highway grade crossing and trespasser prevention programs; industrial hygiene programs; State rail partners program; technical training programs; and passenger rail programs. 
  • Directing the development and implementation of new regulations and orders, including the conduct of cost/benefit analysis, regulatory flexibility analysis, and other regulatory evaluations, in conjunction with the FRA’s Office of Chief Counsel.
  • Directing the conduct of engineering analysis necessary to ascertain the safety of new technology; develop requests for research and development as necessary to support that analysis, and work with the FRA’s Office of Railroad Policy and Development.
  • Establishing requirements for safety information systems, such as the Railroad Inspection Reporting System, Railroad Accident/Incident Reporting System, Grade Crossing Inventory System, Regional Inspection Point System, and other rail safety-related data systems.