Mari N. St. Martin
Communications Director
(775) 684-5670
Carson City, NV - - September 10, 2015

Governor Brian Sandoval today announced he has appointed George Smith, Fred Dilger, Tina Quigley, Peter Thomas and Hualiant (Harry) Teng to the newly created Nevada High-Speed Rail Authority. The appointments went into effect on Tuesday, September 8, 2015.

“Nevada is internationally known as the standard bearer when it comes to travel and tourism and our state is also now recognized as an emerging destination for advanced manufacturing. In order to maintain our competitive edge, we must demonstrate that we are willing to pursue options which will expand and strengthen our engagement with neighboring states. The men and women appointed today represent some of the brightest minds in transportation and business development. I am confident they will lead a thorough and thoughtful discussion and I am pleased they have agreed to serve in this capacity,” said Governor Brian Sandoval. “The High-Speed Rail Authority will begin a formal conversation about the possibility of bringing a High-Speed Rail System to Nevada. Building an efficient and well-planned transportation system is a critical step to preparing Nevada’s infrastructure to meet the needs of our rapidly growing and diversifying economy.”

George Smith is the Executive Vice President with Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Smith joined Bank of America Nevada in 1992 and has served in several capacities including head of Business Banking, Pacific Southwest Region Commercial executive, and as the region executive for Pacific Southwest Business Banking where he led the commercial banking team in Nevada. He holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from California State University, Fullerton and a master’s degree in finance from California State University, Fullerton. Smith is an active member of the Southern Nevada community where he serves on multiple boards and councils. His term will expire on June 30, 2018.

Fred Dilger is the Principal at Black Mountain Research in Henderson, Nevada. In his current role, Dilger analyzes impacts of transportation projects on Nevada’s economy and has developed a model that assesses economic, health, and demographic impacts of national programs. Previously he served as the Principal Planner with Clark County and as an analyst with the Nevada Department of Transportation. He received his bachelor’s degree from Pennsylvania State University, dual master’s degrees from the University of London and University of Nevada, Las Vegas and a Doctorate of Philosophy from Arizona State University. Dilger’s term will end on June 30, 2018.

Peter Thomas is the Managing Partner of Thomas and Mack Company in Las Vegas. Thomas has lived in Southern Nevada for 40 years and is a graduate of Clark High School. He received his Bachelor of Science from the University of Utah and his Juris Doctorate from the Georgetown University Law Center. He is an active member of the Southern Nevada community. Thomas has been appointed for a term set to expire on June 30, 2019.

Tina Quigley is the general manager of the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) where she manages public transit, traffic management, roadway design, construction funding, and transportation planning. In this position, Quigley works to continuously improve the way residents, employees, and more than 40 million visitors travel throughout Southern Nevada. She is a licensed pilot with a Bachelor of Science in Aviation Business and Planning from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. Quigley has been appointed to a term ending on June 30, 2019.

Hualiang (Harry) Teng is the Director of Railroad, High Speed Rail, and Transit Initiative and an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Teng received both his Bachelor and Master of Science degrees from Northern Juaotong University in Beijing, China, a Master of Science degree from West Virginia University, and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Civil Engineering from Purdue University. Teng has been appointed to a term ending on June 30, 2017.

Background on the High-Speed Rail Authority:

Senate Bill 457, passed during the 78th legislative session and signed into law by Governor Sandoval on May 27, 2015 created the Nevada High-Speed Rail Authority charged with pursuing the implementation of a Nevada High-Speed Rail System connecting Southern California and Southern Nevada. The bill modifies statutory language in NRS 705, enacted in 1997 and 2003, which established the California-Nevada Super Speed Ground Transportation Commission and contemplated the application of Maglev train technology for a rail project linking Nevada and California. Maglev technology was developed in the 1960s and uses electromagnets to operate a passenger train without direct contact with a track. Maglev technology has been deemed by the federal government and neighboring states to be incompatible with the type of rail project referenced in NRS 705. SB 457 amends NRS 705 to require high-speed rail technology that is both feasible and compatible with current federal policy with regard to high-speed rail implementation. SB 457 passed the Nevada Senate unanimously, and passed the Nevada Assembly by a nearly unanimous vote.

Office of the Governor . 101 North Carson Street . Carson City, NV . (775) 684-5670 
Grant Sawyer State Office Building . 555 East Washington, Suite 5100 . Las Vegas, NV 89101 . (702) 486-2500