July 30, 2010
The contract of Amtrak President Joe Boardman, 61, has been extended through 2013 by the Amtrak Board of Directors.
Although Amtrak is federally owned, its president serves at the pleasure of the Amtrak board, and Senate confirmation is not required.
Boardman, who previously was federal railroad administrator, was elected “interim” Amtrak president by the board in November 2008, after the board dispatched Alexander Kummant, a former Union Pacific executive, from the job.
The Amtrak board’s decision to make Boardman permanent president was unanimous. Board members include Chairman Tom Carper, Vice Chairperson Donna McLean, Bert DiClemente, Anthony Corsica, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Jeffrey Moreland and Nancy Naples.
Carper announced Boardman's contract extension late July 29, saying:
"Since he was tapped for the job in November of 2008, Joe has been a strong and visible leader dedicated to providing Amtrak the vision and stability needed to guide the railroad into this new era of passenger rail.
"Joe's focus on a safer, greener and healthier Amtrak will enhance safety, improve the reliability of our services, reduce trip times and increase speeds, yield targeted and effective infrastructure investments, and ensure the delivery of quality customer service. And as we near the end of the fiscal year, it appears we will rival our all-time-high ridership and ticket revenue record from FY 2008.
"With the implementation of Safe-2-Safer, he has dedicated himself to creating a safer and more collaborative working environment. His sincere desire to build a culture of accountability and ownership is evident in his own words and deeds.
"Through Joe’s leadership, we announced last week the purchase of 130 new single-level cars for long-distance service, the first step in making a long-term fleet plan that was issued in February a reality.
"Joe is also strengthening our relationships with state, commuter and other partners to add frequencies to current routes and develop service in new markets. In addition, he is setting the stage for Amtrak to be a competitive force as we expand our role in new markets as America's only high-speed rail operator.
"In addition, Joe takes an active interest in the Amtrak workforce, visiting facilities and meeting many of you. He is a part of the Amtrak family and is committed to building and strengthening relationships, from states to labor organizations," Carper said.
While at the FRA (April 2005-November 2009), Boardman won praise for his commitment to rail safety and rail passenger expansion. His accomplishments included implementing more stringent illness and injury reporting requirements for rail carriers; and creation of a risk reduction program, designed to de-emphasize aggressive carrier discipline in favor of cooperation and education.
Prior to his tenure at the FRA, Boardman was commissioner of the New York State Department of Transportation, beginning in July of 1997, where he was deeply involved in the operation of the large complement of Amtrak service in the state.
He was chair of the Executive Committee of the Transportation Research Board in 2005, and chair of the American Association of the State Highway and Transportation Officials' Standing Committee on Rail Transportation from 2000 to 2005. 
Boardman is the second of eight children born and raised on a dairy farm in western New York State, which two of his siblings currently operate. He is an Air Force and Vietnam veteran. He earned an undergraduate degree in agriculture economics from Cornell, and a master's degree in management science from the State University of New York at Binghamton.