Our leadership at DB E.C.O. North America is anchored by professionals with a profound understanding of North American rail and transport dynamics. Their combined expertise strengthens our commitment to sustainable, efficient, and unified transit solutions. With their direction, we consistently pioneer new frontiers of innovation in our sector. Discover the driving forces behind DB E.C.O. North America’s success.

Ulrich Leister, President & CEO

Ulrich believes that the scarce resources we have need to be invested wisely. It is his life goal to contribute his passion and expertise to better plan our rail systems, design attractive service, and clearly identify the most effective investments. At DB E.C.O. North America since 2018, he built a team of consultants who engage in many projects to do exactly that. He now serves as the CEO of DB E.C.O. North America and focuses on making DB’s global expertise accessible in the U.S. and Canada. Ulrich received his Master of Transportation Systems Engineering from the Berlin Institute of Technology. He worked in Switzerland before making the U.S. his home in 2015.

David Hüffmeier, CFO

David has worked in multiple roles within DB Group in project management and finance for the past 20 years. As CFO, he joined DB E.C.O. North America in 2019. His strong belief in collaboration and communication with internal and external stakeholders allows David to lead the financial team that keeps DB E.C.O. North America’s finances well-positioned for the future. David is able to maintain the business’ truthful reputation by taking a proactive approach to risk management. He earned his B.A. in Business Administration from South Westphalia University of Applied Sciences in Berlin. His international experience includes work in Eastern Europe, Russia, and South Africa.

Christian Hicke, Vice President Management Consulting

Christian is driven by the immense potential North America offers in transitioning to a system with enhanced mobility and transportation choices, net-zero carbon emissions, and superior air quality. With a rich background in management consulting, he has been leading DB E.C.O. North America’s Management Consulting Group since 2019, playing a crucial role in actualizing this vision. Christian joined Deutsche Bahn in 2010 and served as a Principal Consultant at the Group’s internal management consulting unit. There, he spearheaded projects across passenger, infrastructure, and freight divisions, providing guidance on a range of strategic challenges, from operational and organizational enhancements to extensive corporate programs and post-merger integrations. Earlier, Christian kickstarted his consulting journey at McKinsey & Company, advising clients from various industries. He holds a PhD in Physics from Michigan State University.

Jorge Rios, Vice President Business Development

Jorge has been Vice President and Project Director at DB E.C.O. North America since 2017.
During his career, Jorge has held positions as CEO, Chief Technical Officer, and Project Director of high-profile rail projects and companies around the world. He graduated with a B.S. Electronic Engineering in 1995 and a master’s-level degree in Project Management in 1999.
Jorge started in the rail industry as a signaling and train control engineer with Siemens. He subsequently worked as a Project Engineer at NEC, as a consultant at IBM, CTO and Rail Project Director at Sytecsa, Project Director for Bombardier rail transportation in Thailand, and Rail Project Director for DB in Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Yoav Hagler, Vice President Technical Consulting

Yoav has committed his career to empowering clients with simple, clear, and actionable recommendations based on complex technical analysis. He brings a diversity of rail planning experience to his role leading the Technical Consulting team at DB E.C.O. North America. Yoav has led a variety of projects specializing in rail operations analysis, service planning and scheduling, and strategic planning helping clients establish goals, plan for expanded service, and improve efficiency of their operations. Yoav joined DB in 2018, with previous positions at The Regional Plan Association of New York, Parsons Brinckerhoff/WSP, and SMA und Partner AG. Yoav holds a Bachelor of Economics from Wesleyan University and a Master in Urban Planning from Columbia University.

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