FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 6, 2011
CONTACT: Rachel Wall,
HIGH-SPEED RAIL AUTHORITY ANNOUNCES NEW DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF
COMMUNICATIONS AND PUBLIC POLICY
SACRAMENTO - The California High-Speed Rail Authority today
announced the appointment of Lance Simmens to the post of Deputy Director of
Communications and Public Policy.
“California’s high-speed rail system is an essential investment in
our growing state’s future,” said Roelof van Ark. “Communicating the project’s
value and widespread benefits to the public, local and state government
partners, and stakeholders is critical as we approach initial construction next
year. I am quite pleased to welcome Lance Simmens, a professional with over 35
years of executive experience, to the high-speed rail team.”
In this position Simmens will oversee communications, statewide
outreach and public policy.
“I’m extremely honored to have the opportunity to contribute my
experience to this exciting project. High-speed rail will revolutionize the
state’s transportation network and offer a faster, safer and more
environmentally friendly travel option,” said Simmens. “Open dialogue with all
stakeholders is vital as this project progresses. I look forward to working
closely with communities, business groups, state and local governments, and
more to ensure we plan and implement the best high-speed rail system possible.”
Simmens has been involved in public service for more than three
decades at all levels of government.
Most recently, Simmens, 58, served Pennsylvania Governor Edward G.
Rendell, as Special Assistant for Intergovernmental Affairs – the principal liaison
with more than 2,500 local governments. In this role he also served as the
Chairman of the Governor’s panels on the development of both wind and solar
In 2006 he was chosen by former Vice-President Al Gore to be one
of the first groups of individuals to be trained to deliver presentations on
the impact of climate change. He has delivered nearly 100 presentations during
that time, including an invitation to present at the London School of Economics
by a member of the European Parliament.
Mr. Simmens has served as a senior advisor for intergovernmental
affairs for four federal agencies including as the Director of
Intergovernmental Affairs for the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Mr. Simmens was the Assistant Executive Director of the U.S.
Conference of Mayors from 1987 to 1993, where he staffed the Urban Economic
In 1993 Mr. Simmens was appointed by President Clinton to help
establish the Federal government’s first Office of Sustainable Development in
the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the U.S. Department of
Commerce. He was honored with the highest award from the Department of
Commerce, the Gold Medal Award, as leader of a team of government officials who
pioneered sustainable initiatives, programs, and regulations for the nation’s
Mr. Simmens received his Bachelor of Science in Political Science
from Georgia Southern University and a Master’s in Public Administration from