Deborah A.P. Hersman, who has been a member of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) for five years, was sworn in today as the agency’s 12th chairman, according to an NTSB press release.
Hersman was nominated for the two-year term as chairman by
President Barack Obama on June 18 and confirmed by the
United States Senate on July 24. She was also nominated and
confirmed for a second five-year term as board member, which
runs through December 31, 2013.
“The NTSB is an outstanding organization that commands
respect across the globe for its comprehensive
investigations of transportation accidents,” Hersman said.
“I am grateful to have this extraordinary opportunity to
lead a talented, dedicated staff to make a world-class
organization even better.”
Hersman became a member of the safety board on June 21,
2004. Since then, she has chaired a number of public events
hosted by the board. In October 2008 she chaired a two-day
public hearing on an accident in Victoria, Texas, involving a
motorcoach that did not comply with the Federal Motor
Vehicle Safety Standards. In September 2006, she chaired a
two-day public forum on motorcycle safety. In July 2006,
she chaired a two-day public hearing investigating a fire on
board UPS Airlines flight 1307. She also chaired a three-
day public hearing in June 2005 on a crash involving a
regional jet in Jefferson City, Missouri.
She has been the board member on scene at 16 major
transportation accidents, including a freight train
collision and hazardous materials release in Graniteville,
South Carolina, in 2005 that killed 9 people; the 2006 crash
of a regional jet in Lexington, Kentucky, that killed 49
aboard the jet; the 2006 accident in which a small aircraft
crashed into a high rise apartment building in Manhattan;
the 2007 allision of a container ship with the San
Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge that resulted in major environmental
damage; and, most recently, last month's collision between
two Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority trains
that resulted in 9 fatalities.
Chairman Hersman holds a commercial drivers license with
passenger, school bus, and air brake endorsements. She
successfully completed a motorcycle basic rider course and
holds a motorcycle endorsement. She is a certified Child
Passenger Safety Technician. She has also completed the 40-
hour HAZWOPER (Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency
Response Standard) training course.
Before joining the Board, Chairman Hersman was a Senior
Professional Staff Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on
Commerce, Science and Transportation from 1999 to 2004 where
she was responsible for a number of transportation issues,
and earlier served as Staff Director and Senior Legislative
Aide to Congressman Bob Wise of West Virginia.
Chairman Hersman earned Bachelor of Arts degrees in
Political Science and International Studies from Virginia
Tech University in Blacksburg, Virginia, and a Master of
Science degree in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from
George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. She is
married and is the mother of three sons.
Deborah A.P. Hersman sworn in as NTSB chairman (7/28)
July 28, 2009