Durbin: Senate Confirms Illinois' Szabo and Rivkin for DOT Positions

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced the Senate approval of Joseph Szabo to be the Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and Bob Rivkin to be the Department of Transportation General Counsel.


“Joe Szabo has a long and distinguished career as an advocate for sound rail transportation policy,” said Durbin. “He now brings his passion for the railroad industry and his experience with rail labor to the national stage. I am here today to tell you what President Obama and I already know: when it comes to making high speed rail a reality in the U.S. and ensuring that millions of American's have access to safe, reliable passenger and freight rail, there is no one better for the job than Joe Szabo.”


Szabo currently serves as the Illinois State Director of the United Transportation Union. Parallel with his union work, for more than twenty years Szabo was active in local government in the Chicago suburb of Riverdale, eventually serving as mayor. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Labor Relations from Governors State University in 1990. Combining his skills in railroading, union work and public service, he served as a member of the South Suburban Mayors Transportation Committee and Vice Chairman of the Chicago Area Transportation Study’s Executive Committee.


“Bob Rivkin has had a successful legal career, with a long resume working on transportation issues,” said Durbin. “His experience will serve him well in his new post. Secretary LaHood and all those at the Department of Transportation will benefit from his advice and counsel.”


From 2001-2004, Rivkin was general counsel to the Chicago Transit Authority, the second-largest public transportation system in the United States. There, Bob was instrumental in negotiating a $530 million Full Funding Grant Agreement between the Federal Transit Administration and the CTA for a massive overhaul of the Brown Line. Rivkin also served as Vice President and Deputy General Counsel of Aon Corporation, a Chicago-based management and financial services firm. In this capacity, he has been responsible for all litigation, employment law, regulatory and government affairs for Aon’s businesses in North and South America.