Lambert-St. Louis International Airport Director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge has been selected to the National Freight Advisory Committee, a diverse group of professionals who will provide advice and recommendations aimed at improving the national freight transportation system.  U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood made the announcement Thursday, May 30, saying a strong freight transportation system is critical to the nation’s economy and essential for helping meet President Obama’s goal of doubling U.S. exports by 2015.

“The strength of our economy and the strength of our national freight system go hand in hand,” said Secretary LaHood. “The members of this committee understand firsthand the critical importance of freight movement, and their valuable insight will help ensure that our system is more secure and better connected.”

The Advisory Committee is comprised of 47 voting members from outside the Department of Transportation.  The Deputy Secretary and Under Secretary of Transportation for Policy, as well as representatives from other Federal agencies with freight-related obligations will serve as ex-officio members.  Members come with various perspectives on freight transportation and represent various modes of transportation, geographic regions, and policy areas.  Freight customers and providers, labor representatives, safety experts and government entities are all represented as well.  

Members will serve two-year terms and meet at least three times per year.  The U.S. Department of Transportation solicited nominations in February as part of new mission outlined in a recent transportation bill, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century, or MAP-21.  MAP-21 established a national freight policy and called for the creation of a National Freight Strategic Plan.  By engaging stakeholders representing diverse interests, the Advisory Committee will provide recommendations to the Secretary of Transportation on how DOT can improve its freight transportation policies and programs.