New leader planned for FMCSA

Annette Sandberg, FMCSA’s new deputy administrator, is the favorite to replace Joseph Clapp as administrator.

Joseph Clapp, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s first administrator, will leave the agency in December, Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta said last month. Mineta also announced that Annette Sandberg, who has served as deputy administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration since February, is FMCSA’s deputy administrator, effective Nov. 25.

Sandberg will serve as acting administrator once Clapp leaves and might be the Bush administration’s choice as the next administrator. In an interview with Transport Topics published on Nov. 25, Mineta was asked how the administration would handle Clapp’s departure. “What we are going to do is we are going to fill the deputy spot and have that person occupy the No. 1 spot when Joe leaves,” Mineta told the publication. An FMCSA spokesman confirmed that Mineta’s comment was reported accurately, but it’s unclear whether “occupy” means on an acting or permanent basis.

“Annette Sandberg brings vast experience and savvy to a job that will continue to be challenging,” Mineta said in announcing her appointment as FMCSA deputy administrator. “The leadership she demonstrated in NHTSA helped improve highway safety in this country, and now we are asking her to help reduce truck-related fatalities.”

Sandberg became NHTSA’s deputy administrator after serving six years as chief of the Washington State Patrol. She spent more than 17 years in law enforcement, supervisory and administrative posts with the Washington State Patrol. Sandberg holds a law degree from the University of Puget Sound School of Law and an MBA from City University in Bellevue, Wash.

Clapp became FMCSA administrator in October 2001. He had retired in 1995 after serving as chairman of Roadway Services. Since his appointment, Clapp has focused on meeting transportation safety requirements for implementing the truck and bus provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Under Clapp’s leadership, FMCSA met or exceeded 22 different safety requirements set out in the fiscal 2002 transportation funding act. During Clapp’s tenure, FMCSA also completed several significant rulemakings, including stronger rules governing commercial driver’s licenses and a new audit program for new entrant carriers.