NTSB's Hersman Announced as New NSC President
"Her proven leadership and expertise made her the ideal candidate to take the council successfully into its second century," said Jeff Woodbury, chairman of the NSC board of directors.
The National Safety Council announced March 11 that Deborah A.P. Hersman has been appointed president and CEO of the 100-year-old organization. Hersman is the current chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board and has served on that board since 2004. The council's release said Hersman "will be joining NSC at its headquarters in Itasca, IL, in suburban Chicago."
In a statement posted to NTSB's blog, Hersman said she first came to Washington, D.C., as a college intern and is heading to a second "dream job." The post says she will continue to lead the NTSB until April 25, after which Vice Chairman Christopher Hart will serve as acting chairman.
"I look back at the hundreds of investigations and recommendations that have been issued during my tenure at the NTSB, and I have seen the landscape of transportation safety improve before my eyes. Today training standards for transportation professionals are more rigorous, federal safety oversight exists for the rail transit industry, work schedules for pilots, locomotive engineers and truck drivers allow for more rest opportunities, the majority of states ban texting behind the wheel, and all but two states have passed booster seat laws for young children," she wrote. "These changes and so many other safety improvements are the result of industry, labor, advocates, regulators and legislators all working in their particular spheres of influence to make travel safer for people that don't always appreciate the risks they face. The NTSB and often, the families of victims, have served as critical catalysts for bringing about change after a terrible accident. It has been an honor to be associated with a noble mission that has at times inspired and evoked passion and at other times, been in the crosshairs of controversy, as real change doesn't come without a cost. I want to thank President Obama for entrusting me with this tremendous responsibility.
"If you are lucky in life, you get a chance to have a dream job. If you are really lucky, you get to have more than one dream job. I look forward to continuing to improve the safety landscape with the Board of Directors and employees of the National Safety Council, another organization dedicated to saving lives and preventing injuries. And yes, I know how lucky I am."
"Debbie is a recognized leader in safety with a front-ine understanding of the value of protecting human life through thoughtful attention and management of risk," said Jeff Woodbury, chairman of the NSC board of directors. "Her proven leadership and expertise made her the ideal candidate to take the council successfully into its second century."
Hersman was appointed as an NTSB board member by President George W. Bush in 2004 and was reappointed to two more five-year terms by President Obama in 2009 and 2013. She was appointed chairman by President Obama in 2009, 2011, and 2013 and confirmed each time by a unanimous Senate vote.