President Obama on Tuesday, June 9, announced his intent to nominate Deborah Hersman as chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board. As a NTSB board member since June 2004, Hersman has served as the board’s representative at 15 accidents and has chaired a number of public events hosted by NTSB, including a public hearing on motorcoach safety.
Before joining NTSB, 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 trucks, buses, railroads, 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.
Hersman received undergraduate degrees from Virginia Tech and a master’s degree in conflict analysis and resolution from George Mason University in Virginia. She holds a commercial driver’s license with passenger, school bus and air brake endorsements; she also holds a motorcycle endorsement and is a certified child passenger safety technician.