Rick co-founded the High Speed Rail Alliance in 1993 with a passion for revitalizing the region he grew up in, lives in, and loves.
The Alliance builds the political will for systemic change by advocating for integrated rail and transit networks connected by 200+ mph high-speed lines. By connecting cities, towns and airports, the high-speed trains will dramatically expand economic opportunities and slash carbon emissions.
A native of the Chicago area, Harnish has been MHSRA’s executive director since 2001. His perspective on trains and transportation policy has appeared in Bloomberg, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Politico, Governing, the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Magazine, Crain’s Chicago and many other publications, in addition to various NPR programs. He has achieved notable successes and progress in MHSRA’s three focus areas: advocacy, education, and research.
Harnish’s work is informed by his strong commitment to researching and learning from global best practices. He has ridden high-speed trains—often in the context of leading small groups—in Belgium, China, England, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Spain, and Turkey, and he draws on a global network of colleagues with expertise in trains and transportation policy.
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