NTSB makes appointments to rail safety and research and engineering offices

April 18, 2024
Patrick Warren has been appointed as director of the office of railroad, pipeline and hazardous materials investigations and Mike Budinski has been named deputy director of the office of research and engineering.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has named Patrick Warren director of the office of railroad, pipeline and hazardous materials investigations and Mike Budinski has been named the deputy director of the office of research and engineering. 


Warren has dedicated most of his career to 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 (MTA) for more than five years. Before the MTA, Warren held several executive leadership positions, including serving as the executive director for the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), 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.


​For 16 years, Budinski led the agency’s materials laboratory and has worked with his team 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 more than 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.”