Current Speaker


Molitoris, Jolene M.
Director, Ohio Department of Transportation
The Myron N. Krotinger Endowed Forum

July 31, 2009

At the state level, Ms. Molitoris began her career at the Ohio Rail Transportation Authority (ORTA), achieving the position of Executive Director. During her tenure, Ohio led the nation in state-developed high speed rail planning. From ORTA, she was appointed Deputy Director for Rail at ODOT, where she worked with port authorities statewide to create 13 new short line railroads - the most in any state following the deregulation of the railroad industry. This initiative positively affected 220 industries and 40,000 jobs.

Appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1993, Ms. Molitoris was the first woman to head the Federal Railroad Administration. During her eight years in Washington, she led agency-wide changes to make significant improvements in safety and customer service. The changes resulted in the seven safest years in US railroad history. Her tenure was also highlighted by innovative efforts to develop public-private partnerships in financing national transportation improvements. Because of her achievements, Railway Age magazine named her one of the great 20th Century Railroaders.

In 2007, Governor Strickland appointed Ms. Molitoris as chair of the Ohio Rail Development Commission (ORDC), the first woman to lead that organization.

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