Brigham McCown

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Brigham A. McCown
Brigham McCown.jpg
Brigham A. McCown
Born July 3, 1966
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch Seal of the United States Department of the Navy (alternate).svg United States Navy
Years of service Retired: 1988 - 2013

US-O7 insignia.svg Rear Admiral (LH) (hon.) United States Maritime Administration

US-O5 insignia.svg Commander United States Navy
Battles/wars Cold War, Operation Desert Storm, Operation Uphold Democracy, Operation Unified Assistance
Other work

Administrator PHMSA

Chief Counsel FMCSA

Brigham A. McCown (born July 3, 1966 in Ironton, Ohio) is a former senior executive at the United States Department of Transportation, and current entrepreneur and philanthropist. He is CEO of a Washington, D.C., consulting firm and chairman of a nonprofit alliance focused on innovative solutions for issues with the nation's infrastructure.[1][2]

Early life and education[edit]

An 8th generation American of Scotch and Irish background, McCown's ancestors first immigrated to Virginia in 1740. McCown grew up in rural southern Ohio and graduated from Ironton High school in 1984. Thereafter he attended Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, a prestigious "public ivy" long known for producing some of the country's elite. He graduated in 1988 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in diplomacy and foreign affairs.

In 1997 he obtained a juris doctor law degree from Northern Kentucky University. In 2015 he earned a graduate certificate from Stanford University in Energy Innovation and Emerging Technologies.


From 2003-2007 McCown served in several leadership roles during both terms of George W. Bush's presidency in Washington D.C. He served as a member of the U.S. Senior Executive Service at the United States Department of Transportation until 2007. During his service, he reported to Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta, (D-CA)[3] and Transportation Secretary Mary Peters, (R-AZ).

Until 2005 he served as the first chief counsel (general counsel) of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, where he was responsible for legal oversight of the nation's trucking, motor coach, moving industry[4] and NAFTA.[5] During this time, He advocated for stronger truck and bus safety regulations, including better oversight of the commercial bus industry and the requirement for all buses to be equipped with seat belts.[6][7]

Mineta appointed McCown to become the first acting administrator / CEO and first deputy administrator / COO of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). During his tenure he was responsible for oversight of over one million daily shipments of hazardous materials by land, sea, and air including the nation's 2.5 million miles of pipelines. McCown was instrumental in restoring national critical infrastructure following hurricane Katrina and Rita. He also oversaw the government's initial response to the largest oil spill on Alaska's North Slope and implemented the one call damage prevention program "811".[8]

Earlier in his career McCown served as a Naval Officer and as a Naval Aviator[9] in the United States Navy. From 1988 to 1998 he served on active duty and participated in worldwide deployments including Operation Desert Storm and Operation Uphold Democracy. From 1998 until his retirement in 2013, McCown served as a member of the ready reserve force with assignments in Europe, Africa, and Asia including Operation Unified Assistance.

Since retiring from federal service, McCown has continuously served as the Chairman and CEO of Nouveau, Inc.[10] a Washington, D.C. based consulting and advisory firm. He is also the co-managing shareholder of Kilgore | McCown, PLLC, a business law firm located in Dallas, Texas. He is also the Chairman and Founder of the Alliance for Innovation and Infrastructure,[11] a national non-profit organization focused on developing solutions to the nation's most pressing infrastructure issues. He serves on the Salmon P. Chase College of Law's Board of Visitors, and is Co-Chair of the American Bar Association's Transportation Committee of the Administrative and Regulatory Law Section[12] Additionally, McCown serves as a Program Council Member for the Warsaw Security Forum in Warsaw, Poland.[13] He previously served on the Southlake, Texas Planning & Zoning Commission.[14]


McCown contributes to Forbes[15] and other media outlets in matters pertaining to energy, infrastructure, foreign policy, and transportation.


External links[edit]