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Sat, Jul 27, 2013

Hersman Facing Uncertainty As Term Ends August 3

NTSB Chair Says She Does Not Know If She'll Be Staying On The Board

NTSB Chair Deborah A.P. Hersman says she had not heard from the White House whether she'll be kept in that position beyond the end of her term August 3.

Hersman (pictured) is finishing her second two-year term as the Chair of the NTSB, which is having one of its busiest times since the 1990s. The board is currently investigating two incidents involving airliners, one in San Francisco and one in New York. There were three fatalities associated with the accident in California.

Bloomberg News asked Hersman directly if she will be re-nominated as chair. The 43-year-old official said the decision is in the hands of the White House. "I'm focused on the work that's in front of us from this past week," she said.

Hersman had reportedly been favored by West Virginia Senator Jay Rockefeller (D) for the post of Secretary of Transportation. The senator went so far as to publicly endorse her in a Twitter message. President Obama instead chose Charlotte, NC Mayor Anthony Foxx for the post.

Hersman was appointed to the board by President George W. Bush in 2004. At the time, she was the senior Democratic staff member on the Senate Commerce Committee. President Obama appointed her to her first term as Chair in 2009.

Hersman has recently been criticized by U.S. and Korean pilots’ unions for the way she handled the release of information to the media following the accident in San Francisco involving an Asiana Boeing 777. The board currently has 16 major accident investigations underway involving both aviation and ground transportation.

FMI: www.ntsb.gov, www.whitehouse.gov

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