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Name: Elliott, Daniel
Current Position: Previous Chairman

Longtime railroad union attorney Daniel R. Elliott III was the focus of controversy before he was confirmed by the U.S. Senate, thanks to his former boss at the United Transportation Union (UTU), the nation’s largest rail union. Elliott was sworn in August 13, 2009.

After it was announced that Elliott was chosen to take over the Surface Transportation Board, which regulates railroads, UTU President Malcolm B. Futhey gloated on the union’s website that their political clout was the reason for President Barack Obama’s decision. The bragging did not sit well with Republican lawmakers or Senator John D. Rockefeller IV (D-WV), chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, which handled Elliott’s confirmation hearing. To avoid having Elliott’s nomination held up over the remark, Futhey issued a public apology to the committee.
Elliott was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in 1962 and grew up in Cleveland. He graduated from the University of Michigan in 1985 with a degree in political science and earned a law degree from Ohio State College of Law in 1989.
Elliott worked in private practice in Cleveland and Washington, DC, handling a variety of litigation matters, before he joined UTU in 1993. Serving as associate general counsel, he represented labor matters before the Surface Transportation Board, National Mediation Board, National Labor Relations Board and in Department of Labor federal grant employee protective arrangement proceedings. He was with UTU for 16 years, until being chosen for his new post in the Obama administration.
Daniel Elliott III Biography (Surface Transportation Board)
Controversy Flares Over STB Nomination (by John Boyd, Journal of Commerce)
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