Head of state board appointed to National Freight Advisory Committee

By:  Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal – Staff Writer

Washington state’s freight leadership will have a hand in shaping the nation’s freight policies. Karen Schmidt, executive director of the Washington State Freight Mobility Strategic Investment Board has been appointed to U.S. Department of Transportation’s new National Freight Advisory Committee.

The advisory committee, made up of industry, safety and state freight experts, will guide USDOT on national freight policy efforts, as well as make legislative recommendations to improve goods movement.

“Washington was one of the first states to create an independent freight board 15 years ago, and its collaborative approach has served as a model for USDOT in establishing freight policy,” said Schmidt, a former Republican state legislator who represented the 23rd District that includes North Kitsap. “I’m looking forward to participating on the advisory committee as we work to implement the freight provisions included in the most recent surface transportation bill, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century.”

Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) noted the important role of freight in Washington’s economy and acknowledged Schmidt’s leadership abilities.

“In Washington state, we know that jobs and the movement of freight go hand in hand. More than 1 million jobs in Washington depend on freight,” said Cantwell. “I am especially encouraged by Karen Schmidt’s appointment to the National Freight Advisory Committee. This is a significant milestone in our effort to improve the nation’s freight network.”

Schmidt has been executive director of FMSIB since its inception and is the only Washington state candidate selected for the advisory committee.