PPP specialist appointed to Washington DC transit board

David Horner, a former DOT official and a partner at Hunton & Williams law firm, was picked by Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.

David Horner, a partner at Washington DC-based law firm Hunton & Williams, has been named a federal representative to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s board of directors.

Horner was picked along with Steve McMillin, a partner at US Policy Metrics, by US Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao on Monday. Horner previously served in the Department of Transportation from 2005 to 2009, working as deputy assistant secretary for transportation policy and as chief counsel of the Federal Transit Administration.

After leaving the government at the end of the George W Bush administration, Horner joined London-based law firm Allen & Overy. In early 2016, Horner returned to Hunton & Williams, where he had previously worked as a corporate associate.

Horner has concentrated on PPPs both in the public and private sector. At the FTA, he worked on a pilot programme to examine the efficiency of the PPP model through pilot projects in Oakland, Denver and Houston. Since leaving government, Horner has worked as counsel on schemes including Pennsylvania’s $900 million Rapid Bridge Replacement project; a $1.1 billion long-term concession of PR-22, Puerto Rico’s largest toll road; and a $483 million long-term lease of Ohio State University’s parking system.

The federal government is tasked with appointing two of WMATA’s eight voting board members. Horner’s appointment comes as President Donald Trump’s administration looks to increase PPPs as a way to spur a promised $1 trillion in infrastructure spending. An article co-authored by Horner recently urged the administration to focus on drawing private capital into the infrastructure sector either through an asset recycling initiative, by making private activity bonds available for all classes of infrastructure, or by expanding federal credit programmes like TIFIA.

Horner and McMillin will replace David Strickland and Carol Carmody on the board.