The High Speed Rail Alliance is pleased to welcome a new deputy director, Christopher Ott, to our staff. Ott will help HSRA increase its capacities and impact at a pivotal moment for both the organization and for the future of trains in the U.S.
Originally from Milwaukee, Ott worked previously as the executive director for the ACLU in his home state. Prior to that, he served as communications director for the ACLU of Massachusetts. Ott has also been a writer with a long-standing interest in railroads and has written about trains, from both a traveler’s and an advocate’s perspective, for local and national publications.
“I’ve felt for a long time that the U.S. could do a lot better,” Ott said. He was interested in joining HSRA because the opportunities of this moment to make a paradigm shift in U.S. transportation policy are a real possibility.
“There’s a growing recognition that we need this option to be much better than it is,” said Ott, whose love for railroads goes back to his days in college on the east coast, when he would frequently ride Amtrak trains up and down the Northeast Corridor.
“With the enthusiasm and support at a lot of different levels—federal, state, local, and individuals—I hope that it’s all coming together. And I think it’s terrific that HSRA has been doing this work for so long, and has laid the groundwork for what’s happening now.
I really respect what the organization has done. I became an HSRA member several years ago and I’m thrilled to have a chance to work here and contribute to the cause.”