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Railroad Research Foundation Announces New Appointment

The Railroad Research Foundation (RRF) has announced the appointment of Sharon Stewart Cole, Ph.D. to serve as the senior program director and assistant secretary of the board.

“Dr. Cole brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to her position. I look forward to working with her to further the research agenda of America’s freight railroads,” said RRF Board president Edward R. Hamberger.

Cole brings over 20 years of experience in Sponsored Research Programs management. She has worked for major research institutions such as the University of Houston and the Nevada Cancer Institute, where she managed both the pre- and post-award process for agencies such as NASA, EPA, NIH, NSF, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Energy. She has worked as a contractor for the National Institute of Standards and Technology where she managed a team of grants specialist to oversee $300 million in ARRA funded broadband technology, laboratory, and construction awards.

In addition, Cole served as an internal auditor for the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, TX, where she performed operational and contract audits. 

Cole received her doctoral degree in 2006 from Capella University and her dissertation topic was entitled “Federal Funding Success Factors — A Replicated Quantitative Analysis”. She received her MBA from Oklahoma State University and her bachelor’s degree from the University of Oklahoma.

Cole is charged with re-aligning of the current RRF organizational structure to prepare for increased projects and funding opportunities.  Dr. Cole will provide overall leadership and direction for the RRF, serve as the primary management point of contact with all sponsoring Federal/State agencies and will provide guidance for the program management and oversight of RRF’s funded projects and proposal submissions.

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