President and CEO
The Amtrak Board of Directors appointed Stephen J. Gardner as President and Chief Executive Officer, effective January 17, 2022. He is the thirteenth executive to lead America’s Railroad. Drawing on two decades of railroad industry, transportation policy and business experience, Stephen will help guide Amtrak as the company recovers from the pandemic and enters a transformational era of modernization, service expansion and growth. Under Stephen’s leadership, Amtrak is focused on improving today’s service for customers while rebuilding infrastructure, acquiring modern trains, and pursuing network growth opportunities to bring more train to more people around nation, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Transportation, state and commuter partners, host railroads and other stakeholders. Additionally, Stephen and the Executive Leadership Team continue to focus on Amtrak priorities including implementing the company’s industry-leading Safety Management System, expanding diversity, inclusion and belonging efforts, adopting innovative technology and driving sustainability and rail’s role in addressing the crisis of global climate change.
Stephen had served as President since December 2020. In this role, he led the company’s day-to-day operations, with an emphasis on regaining customers following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and strengthening key relationships with states and other partners through the strong delivery of Amtrak’s Annual Operating Plan and long-term goals. Responsible for modernizing Amtrak’s products, services, infrastructure and fleet, he had oversight of Marketing, Operations, Planning and Asset Development, and Government Affairs and Corporate Communications.
Stephen previously served as Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating and Commercial Officer from May 2019 through November 2020. He also led Amtrak’s Commercial function as Executive Vice President from October 2017.
Programs overseen by Stephen since he joined Amtrak in 2009 included efforts to expand State Supported service partnerships; increase capacity on Acela, Amtrak’s premier service; improve Northeast Corridor infrastructure; formulate policies to execute the company’s strategic plan; and guide general development and planning activities.
Prior to Amtrak, Stephen worked as a staffer for the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation and several Senate and House of Representative offices on transportation matters.
Early in his transportation career, Stephen held operating and managerial positions with Guilford Rail System’s Maine Central Railroad in Maine and Massachusetts and the Buckingham Branch Railroad in Virginia.
Stephen received his Bachelor of Arts from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts and lives in Philadelphia, PA with his wife and two children.