Brigham McCown

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Brigham A. McCown
Brigham McCown.jpg
Brigham A. McCown
BornJuly 3, 1966 (1966-07-03) (age 52)
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branchSeal of the United States Department of the Navy (alternate).svg United States Navy
Years of service1988–2013
RankUS-O7 insignia.svg Rear Admiral (LH) (hon.) United States Maritime Administration US-O5 insignia.svg Commander United States Navy
Battles/warsCold War, Operation Desert Storm, Operation Uphold Democracy, Operation Unified Assistance
Other workGreat Seal of the United States (obverse).svg Senior Advisor USDOT

Great Seal of the United States (obverse).svg Administrator PHMSA

Great Seal of the United States (obverse).svg 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 currently the CEO of a Washington, D.C., advisory firm and chairman of a nonprofit focused on innovative solutions for issues with the nation's infrastructure.[1][2]

Early life and education[edit]

An 8th generation American of Scottish and Irish descent, McCown's ancestors first immigrated to Augusta county Virginia in 1740. He is a relative of Confederate General John Porter McCown (3rd cousins thrice removed) and Major General Hal David McCown (5th cousins once removed).

McCown grew up in rural southern Ohio, graduating 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 including current Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. 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's Salmon P. Chase College of Law. In 2015 he earned a graduate certificate from Stanford University in Energy Innovation and Emerging Technologies.


Most recently McCown served as an advisor to the 2016 presidential transition as a core member of the president-elect's infrastructure policy and agency action teams. He then served as an interim key advisor to Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao (R-KY) during her initial days in office.

Until 2007 McCown served in several leadership roles during both terms of George W. Bush's presidency in Washington D.C. Appointed initially to the U.S. Senior Executive Service by Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta, (D-CA)[3] he was later reappointed by Transportation Secretary Mary Peters, (R-AZ). McCown initially worked as the first chief counsel (general counsel) of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), 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 then 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 2.6 million miles of pipelines. McCown was instrumental in restoring national critical infrastructure following hurricane Katrina and Rita and received the department's highest award (Gold Medal) for his actions. 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] While serving as the country's chief energy transportation regulator, McCown was first to raise concerns over the country's aging pipeline infrastructure network but was also avid in his support of pipelines over other transport methods. He has continued to advance safety and has called for tougher standards following gas pipeline incidents in San Bruno, California and Dallas, Texas. He was also one of the first experts to call for the phasing ou t of older crude by rail cars known as DOT-111 tank cars.

From 1988 to 1998 McCown served on active duty as a U.S. naval officer and as a naval aviator[9] 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 also previously served on the Southlake, Texas Planning & Zoning Commission.[12]

McCown is a member of the Salmon P. Chase College of Law's Board of Visitors, Co-Chair of the American Bar Association's Transportation Committee of the Administrative and Regulatory Law Section[13], a Program Council Member for the Warsaw Security Forum[14], and a Fellow of the American Bar Association Foundation, a global honorary society of attorneys, judges, law faculty, and legal scholars whose public and private careers have demonstrated outstanding dedication to the highest principles of the legal profession and to the welfare of their communities.


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


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Brigham A. McCown - Alliance for Innovation and Infrastructure".
  3. ^[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "Tonight's facts". Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  5. ^ "U.S. Department of Transportation Sets Aggressive New Fuel Economy Targets". Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  6. ^ "Tonight's facts". Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  7. ^ "Barriers for Mexican trucks questioned". Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  8. ^ "Call 811".
  9. ^ "Public Navy Records". Archived from the original on 2016-10-11.
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Home - Alliance for Innovation and Infrastructure". Alliance for Innovation and Infrastructure.
  12. ^ "Southlake, TX - Official Website". Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Archived Document". Archived from the original on 2015-12-22. Retrieved 2015-12-15.
  15. ^ "Forbes » Contributor Profile » Brigham A. McCown". Retrieved 14 February 2015.

External links[edit]