(Dec. 10) WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Bush has tapped an executive from the rail industry to help get the country’s economy back on track.

On Dec. 9, Bush said he would nominate John Snow, chairman and chief executive officer of CSX Corp., Richmond, Va., to serve as U.S. Secretary of the Treasury. The move came less than a week after Bush fired former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill in an attempt to boost the flagging economy.

“John Snow has excelled as a business leader, an expert on economic policy, an academic, and as a public servant,” Bush said at a news conference Dec. 9. “He’ll be a superb member of my Cabinet.”

In a news release, CSX executives praised the decision, adding that Snow’s knowledge of financial markets, economic policy and business issues will serve the president well.

“John Snow’s contributions to our economy, the U.S. transportation industry and the global business community are well known and highly respected,” said company president Michael Ward. “The nation will be fortunate to have John at the helm of the Treasury Department.”

Snow, 63, is a Republican who is no stranger to politics or to the Washington scene. He served as deputy undersecretary for the Department of Transportation during the Gerald Ford administration. He also served as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator from 1976-77.

The Washington Post reported that Snow also is close to Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan and is a former chairman of the Business Round Table, an influential group of chief executives of major companies.

Snow is a lawyer with a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Virginia. He also serves on the boards of Johnson & Johnson, U.S. Steel, Verizon, CarMax Inc. and Johns Hopkins University.

Before he is able to serve, Snow will face extensive questioning and confirmation from the Senate.

In addition to Snow, Stephen Friedman, former co-chairman of investment firm Goldman Sachs, has been tapped by Bush to replace White House economic adviser Larry Lindsay, who was ousted along with O’Neill.