NTSB Names Patrick Warren as Rail Safety Director ​​​and Mike Budinski tapped as deputy director of research and engineering


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WA​SHINGTON (April 15, 2024) – The National Transportation Safety Board named Patrick Warren director of the Office of Railroad, Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Investigations.

​Throughout his career, Warren has been deeply involved in addressing national rail and aviation safety issues, regulations, operations, and security, collaborating extensively with the NTSB on investigations and safety recommendation implementation.

​Warren previously served as the chief safety and security officer for the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority for more than five years. Before the MTA, Warren held several executive leadership positions, including serving as the Executive Director of the Federal Railroad Administration, the deputy associate administrator for its Office of Railroad Safety and as the deputy director of the Office of Airports, Planning, ​and Programming at the Federal Aviation Administration. During his tenure at the FRA, Warren spearheaded the implementation of positive train control, an NTSB priority since 1969. 

Warren is a retired U.S. Army colonel, having served 31 years in uniform.

​NTSB veteran Mike Budinski has been selected as the deputy director of the NTSB’s Office of Research and Engineering. For 16 years Budinski headed the agency’s materials laboratory. Budinski and his team have played pivotal roles in numerous high-profile accident investigations, contributing significantly to the formulation of transportation safety recommendations across all modes.

Budinski oversaw an extensive renovation of the laboratory, ensuring it keeps its place as a world-class, state-of-the-art facility. Before NTSB, Budinski served as a​ lab group manager for materia​ls analysis at the General Motors Fuel Cell Research Center and held managerial and scientific positions at Eastman Kodak. He is credited with over 40 patents in various domains including coated metals, optics fabrication, medical devices and automotive proton exchange membrane fuel cell powerplants.

Budinski earned his Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Buffalo and his Master of Science degree in metallurgy from the Ohio State University, where he studied at the Fontana Corrosion Center. He is also recognized as a fellow of the American Society for Materials International.Both Warren and Budinski are members of the federal government’s Senior Executive Service.

​“I’m grateful for the expertise that both Patrick and Mike bring to the agency,” said NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy. “Their significant contributions will advance the NTSB's mission and enhance safety for the traveling public. I look forward to our agency’s future with them on our leadership team.”  

To report an incident/accident or if you are a public safety agency, please call 1-844-373-9922 or 202-314-6290 to speak to a Watch Officer at the NTSB Response Operations Center (ROC) in Washington, DC (24/7).