Deborah Hersman, chairman of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), is stepping down as head of the NTSB in late April to be president and CEO of the National Safety Council. Hersman gave her farewell address in Washington, D.C., on Monday, April 21. She will continue at the NTSB until April 25 when Christopher A. Hart, vice chairman, NTSB, will take over on an interim basis.
The American public knows Hersman as the face of the NTSB. She is often on the scene of plane crashes and other transportation-related disasters. But to the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), Hersman is more than the public face of the NTSB; she has been a strong partner to the commercial vehicle safety community throughout her tenure.
“Hersman is a renowned leader in transportation safety and has been committed to the unwavering protection of the public by anticipating risks, and providing guidance and recommendations, all aimed at reducing safety hazards,” said Sgt. Thomas Fuller, president, CVSA. “As an organization also committed to saving lives, we at CVSA have seen the positive results of Hersman’s efforts toward improving transportation safety and are grateful for her dedication.”
In 2004, President George W. Bush appointed Hersman to the NTSB. In 2009, President Barack Obama appointed her as chairman and re-appointed her to a second five-year term in 2014.
Hersman is known for aggressively pushing industry and regulators to accelerate safety improvements. She launched various initiatives to make the NTSB more relevant and influential in shaping emerging safety debates. Her goal was to ensure the NTSB remained relevant, proactive and forward-looking.
“Hersman has been a strong supporter of CVSA’s work and of the commercial vehicle industry as a whole,” said Stephen Keppler, executive director, CVSA. “On behalf of our members, we thank her for her commitment and dedication to road safety, especially as it relates to trucks and buses. Hersman has worked with us to raise awareness of commercial vehicle safety and, as a result, we’ve made a positive impact on the industry and helped save lives.”