Louis S. Thompson

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Louis Stanley Thompson, of Maryland, was nominated September 12, 2003, by President George W. Bush to serve as a Member of the AMTRAK Reform Board for a five-year term. His nomination was sent to the U.S. Senate for confirmation on January 26, 2004.

Although the White House lists the status of Thompson's nomination as pending, his nomination was not resubmitted to the Senate following U.S. presidential election, 2004.

Not a privatization proponent

Louis S. Thompson, who retired from the World Bank in May 2003, had "spearheaded successful efforts to privatize railroads in Argentina, Chile, Mexico and Romania ... China, India and Russia" and was anticipated to play a role in privatizing AMTRAK.

However, at a November 6, 2003, Senate Commerce Committee confirmation hearing, Thompson "stressed he is not an advocate of Amtrak privatization as many have incorrectly portrayed him. 'I don’t think privatizing Amtrak would make the railroad stronger and more effective,' Thompson said. Amtrak is a case of 'pay me now or pay me later' and he said Congress must provide adequate funding to make Amtrak stronger. He disagreed with Bush administration plans to cut Amtrak funding because 'this would defer essential capital investments and just create a bigger problem later.'

"In a conversation with UTU [United Transportation Union] International President Byron A. Boyd, Jr., Thompson detailed 'numerous' problems resulting from privatizing British rail operations and said he 'very much' opposes following such a model for Amtrak," UTU reported.

Profiles

"In May of 2003, Thompson retired as the Railways Advisor for the World Bank, a position he held since 1986. Earlier in his career, he served as Director of the Northeast Corridor Improvement Project at the Federal Railroad Administration, and as Policy and Budget Analyst in the Office of the Secretary, at the U.S. Department of Transportation. Thompson received his Chemical Engineering degree from the Michigan Institute of Technology, and his MBA from Harvard University." [1]

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