Maryland DOT Executive Takes Senior NHTSA Post

James F. Ports, Jr., who held several administrative positions in Maryland's Department of Transportation and headed its emergency management office, is the new deputy administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NHTSA.

"Jim brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from the transportation arena," NHTSA Administrator Nicole Nason said. "With NHTSA's busy agenda for the next two years, his leadership is greatly welcomed." Ports previously was deputy secretary of Maryland's Department of Transportation, responsible for overseeing the 9,200-employee department and annual budget of $3.69 billion. He had been assistant secretary for Administration prior to that post, managing the offices of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, Engineering & Procurement, Human Resources, Real Estate, Facilities Services, and International Affairs. Ports also has legislative experience from serving 12 years in the Maryland House of Delegates, where he was on the Ways and Means Committee, the Transportation Subcommittee, and was House minority whip.

NHTSA also announced highway safety awards at last week's Lifesavers conference for 15 individuals and groups. Honorees included Gabrielle M. Abbate, executive director of Rhode Island Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the American College of Surgeons' Committee on Trauma (Chicago, Ill.), the Chicago Tribune for a year-long series about teen drivers' safety, and Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher for leading a successful campaign to pass a primary seat belt law that took effect July 12, 2006.

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