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Wed, Jun 10, 2009

Obama Taps Hersman To Lead NTSB

Labor-Friendly Choices Continue

The Obama Administration is picking Deborah Hersman to lead the National Transportation Safety Board... a move (like the choice of Babbitt for the FAA Admin) that is expected to gain great favor with organized labor, especially with the additional announcement renominating former airline union executive Harry Hoglander to a new term on the National Mediation Board.

Both choices are still subject to Senate confirmation, but are also seen as being heavily engineered to win favor from organized labor -- which concerns a number of industry observers.

Deborah A. P. Hersman was sworn in as the 35th Member of the National Transportation Safety Board on June 21, 2004.

Since her appointment to the Board, Member Hersman has been the member on scene at a number of aviation accidents:

  • September, 2008 - crash of a Maryland State Police EMS helicopter in Forestville, Maryland;
  • August, 2007 - crash of a chartered floatplane in Ketchikan, Alaska;
  • October, 2006 - crash of a private aircraft into an apartment building in New York City;
  • August, 2006 - crash of a commercial aircraft in Lexington, Kentucky;
  • February, 2005 - crash of a chartered aircraft into an airport warehouse at Teterboro, NJ;

In October, 2004, Member Hersman participated in the on-scene investigation of the crash of an aircraft in Jefferson City, Missouri. Member Hersman has chaired a number of public events hosted by the Board. In July, 2006, she chaired a two-day public hearing investigating the February, 2006 fire on board UPS Airlines flight 1307. She also chaired a three-day public hearing in June, 2005, on the Jefferson City crash.

Before joining the NTSB, Member 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 the legislative agenda and policy initiatives affecting surface transportation issues, including economic and safety regulation of railroads, trucks, buses, pipelines, and hazardous materials transportation. Prior to that appointment, she served as Staff Director and Senior Legislative Aide to Congressman Bob Wise of West Virginia from 1992 to 1999.

Member Hersman earned Bachelor of Arts degrees in Political Science and International Studies from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, in 1992, and a Master of Science degree in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, in 1999. She is married and is the mother of three sons.

FMI: www.ntsb.gov

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