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Infrastructure Financier Tapped to Run California High Speed Rail Authority

Thursday, February 02, 2012 - 08:34 PM

An expert in infrastructure financing and former member of the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District has been elected to head the California High Speed Rail Authority.  Dan Richard of Piedmont has been tapped to chair the authority, which faces withering criticism from mostly Republican critics who say the $98 billion price tag is too high.

Richard succeeds Thomas Umberg, who abruptly resigned that post last month.  Umberg  will remain on the board as an active member.

Here's Richard's bio, from the CAHSRA press release:

Dan Richard of Piedmont, has been a principal of Dan Richard Advisors since 2010. He was managing partner and co-founder of Heritage Oak Capital Partners, an infrastructure finance firm, from 2007 to 2009 and was senior vice president of public policy and governmental relations at Pacific Gas and Electric Company from 1997 to 2006.

Richard was an elected member of the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District from 1992 to 2004, where he served twice as president of the Board. At the Bay Area Rapid Transit District, Richard led efforts to secure $4 billion in capital for system rehabilitation projects, the transit system’s expansion to the San Francisco Airport and seismic retrofit programs. 

Richard was a principal at Morse, Richard, Weisenmiller & Associates from 1986 to 1996, a firm serving the independent power industry and project finance lending community. He was vice president of Independent Power Corporation from 1983 to 1986. Richard served as Governor Brown’s deputy legal affairs secretary from 1982 to 1983 and deputy assistant for science and technology from 1978 to 1979.  He was advisor to the chairman of the California Energy Commission from 1978 to 1982.

Richard began his career at National Aeronautics and Space Administration, where he was an assistant to the deputy associate administrator from 1972 to 1978. Richard received his Juris Doctor degree from McGeorge School of Law.  

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