Cynthia M. Sanborn 87C

Cynthia Sanborn

Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Retired
Norfolk Southern Corporation
Atlanta, Georgia

Cindy Sanborn is retired from Norfolk Southern Corporation, one of America's premier freight transportation companies, as executive vice president and chief operating officer. Norfolk Southern connects 22 states in the eastern half of the country by rail, serving a majority of US consumer, manufacturing, and energy consumption. Sanborn oversaw all aspects of operations, including transportation, mechanical, and engineering, and was responsible for ensuring safe, efficient, and reliable train service over the company’s 19,500 route miles of track.

Prior to joining Norfolk Southern in 2020, Sanborn held leadership roles at Union Pacific Railroad, including vice president of network planning and operations. Before that, she held various management positions at CSX Transportation, with 30 years of service at the railroad company. She worked her way up from frontline operating manager positions to executive leadership roles. While at CSX, she became the first woman in the US to hold an executive operating leadership role at a Class 1 railroad after being appointed executive vice president and chief operating officer in 2015.

Sanborn's accomplishments in the railroad industry across multiple rail companies and in predominantly operating roles are unique in many respects. Beyond her day-to-day responsibilities, she has served as an effective ambassador for the rail industry with outside stakeholders on many occasions. As a result of her distinguished background, she is widely recognized as a trailblazer and an inspiration to many in the industry.

Sanborn holds a bachelor’s degree from Emory University. She earned an MBA from the University of Miami.

She was elected trustee in 2015.