Green Festival Speakers

Richard Harnish


Harnish is the Executive Director of the Midwest High Speed Rail Association, a membershipbased nonprofit organization advocating for fast, frequent and dependable trains linking the entire Midwest.

Harnish graduated from Elmhurst College in 1986 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in transportation management. After leaving Elmhurst, Harnish was a logistics manager at American President Lines and JB Hunt and managed industrial real estate on Chicago's west side.

Harnish helped found the Midwest High Speed Rail Association in 1991. He became the first paid executive director of the Association in February 2001, after leading a successful fundraising campaign.

While at the Association, Harnish has lead several successful grass roots campaigns including winning a doubling of Amtrak service linking downstate Illinois to Chicago.