Kelly named NHTSA acting administrator

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David Kelly was appointed acting administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration by President Bush on Tuesday, Sept. 2. Previously, Kelly was the agency’s chief of staff, serving as the top adviser to Administrator Nicole Nason. In that capacity, Kelly managed the day-to-day operations of a 600-person $800 million budget.

Prior to joining NHTSA in July 2006, Kelly was a member of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s senior management, serving as the deputy assistant secretary for government affairs. Kelly represented DOT with congressional offices and served as liaison with state and local officials for the Secretary of Transportation.

NHTSA says Kelly has dedicated his career to making our nation’s roads safer. A long-time safety advocate, he was the director of the National Safety Council’s Air Bag & Seat Belt Safety Campaign. While at NSC, he directed the legislative activities in dozens of states, advocating primary seatbelt bills across the country, as well as overseeing the daily activities of the campaign. He also has held several leadership positions with Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

Kelly obtained his bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York and his master’s degree in public administration from the City University of New York.

Nason has departed NHTSA after leading the agency since May 2006.