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Deputy Administrator

Tristan Brown

Tristan Brown

Tristan Brown serves as the Deputy Administrator of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). Since 2021, Brown has led a team of nearly 600 full time employees (as well as nearly 200 contractors), managing a $500+ million annual budget—focused on overseeing the safety of 3.4 million miles of hazardous material pipelines and 1.2 million shipments of hazardous material goods transported daily across the United States. In this capacity, Brown also serves on the White House Council on Environmental Quality’s Carbon Dioxide Capture, Utilization, and Sequestration (CCUS) Federal and Non-Federal Lands Permitting Task Forces; the Department of Transportation’s Nontraditional and Emerging Transportation Technology (NETT) Council as well as the Executive Safety Council; and the National Academy of Science, Engineering, and Medicine’s Transportation Research Board’s Executive Committee.

Previously, Brown served as counsel to U.S. Senator Gary Peters and as an advisor to U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar on matters related to transportation, space policy, energy, the environment, and native American issues. Brown previously practiced law in the private sector, focusing on regulatory, transactional, and litigation matters relating to the transportation and public utilities sectors. He also previously served as Deputy Associate Administrator at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 

Brown earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California Berkeley School of Law, a Master of Philosophy degree from the University of Cambridge where he was a Gates Cambridge Scholar, and a Bachelor of Science degree from the Lee Honors College at Western Michigan University where he was a Morris K. Udall Scholar and a member of USA Today’s All-Academic Team. Brown was born in rural Michigan and raised just outside Detroit. As a child he lived in New Hampshire where his father was an automotive manager and previously served as a deputy sheriff. His mother was a social worker and service employees union representative.