Amtrak Exec Discusses Organizational Strucuture

A recent Amtrak management structural reorganization was made to streamline the passenger carrier’s corporate structure as well as seek to reduce its operating deficit and increase public transparency, a company executive said in a recent radio interview in Washington.

Amtrak logoAmtrak Chief Information Officer Ghada Ijam told Federal Radio that her technology department will now be part of the Planning, Technology, and Public Affairs group, one of six that report directly to CEO Charles “Wick” Moorman.

“The organization that IT will report into owns the strategic planning for Amtrak,” she said. “IT being a part of that organization is a recognition that IT is a strategic capability that Amtrak can leverage to run like a business, to improve our operations and our services, and to improve our customer experience.”

She described that as an improvement from the past when IT reported to the chief financial officer. Ijam described that arrangement as less than ideal.

“When you report into the CFO, you become a cost center, but when you report to the head of planning and strategy, you become a strategic enabler,” she said.

Ijam said Amtrak is seeking a new location in Washington for its headquarters as it prepares to leave Washington Union Station where it has been for the past 30 years.

The move is still in the planning stages, but will be made after the current least expires this year.

Ijam said one of the most fascinating part of working at Amtrak is the fact that as a public sector agency it is driven by its mission.

“The mission is what drives and motivates people,” she said. “What you see in the halls at Amtrak is that passion to provide an excellent rail service, but we do look at our financials and our business results and make sure that we are spending wisely and generating the right revenue for the company.”

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