Howard “Skip” Elliott was sworn in as the fifth Administrator of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) following his unanimous confirmation by the U.S. Senate on October 5, 2017.
Mr. Elliott came out of retirement to enter public service after a distinguished 40-year career in America’s freight railroad industry. For the last ten years, he served as the Vice President of Public Safety, Health, and Environment for CSX Transportation (CSX), where he focused on issues of direct concern to PHMSA’s mission of protecting the American people and their environment. His portfolio included hazardous materials transportation safety, homeland security, environmental operations and compliance, crisis management, occupational health and safety, continuity of operations, and CSX’s Railroad Police Department. He has also served on the board of directors for CSX IP, a CSX subsidiary.
Mr. Elliott’s career has demonstrated his lifelong commitment to safety. While at CSX, he championed the development and implementation of computer-based tools to assist emergency response officials, first responders, and homeland security personnel in mitigating risks and responding to hazardous materials and security incidents. He firmly believes that applying new technologies is essential in the pursuit of PHMSA’s goal of zero safety incidents.
Mr. Elliott’s expertise is widely acknowledged in the field of transportation safety. He has served in a number of professional associations related to safety, including the Risk Management Working Committee and the Security Committee of the American Association of Railroads (AAR). He is a member of the American Society of Industrial Security. He previously served on the FBI‑DHS Domestic Security Alliance Council. In recognition of his many professional contributions, he was awarded AAR’s prestigious Holden‑Profrock Award for lifetime achievement in hazardous materials transportation safety, as well as many other awards and honors.
Mr. Elliott is a proud graduate of Indiana University (IU), where he received his bachelor’s degree in English and Forensic Studies. He was the recipient of the IU Department of Criminal Justice’s first ever Distinguished Alumni Award in 2009, and he is a member of the Executive Dean’s Advisory Board for IU’s College of Arts and Sciences. He holds a master’s degree from Columbia Southern University. A native of Indiana, he and his wife currently reside in Florida.