WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Obama announced on Tuesday his intent to nominate Deborah Hersman to be chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
Hersman, a board member of the NTSB since June 2004, is no stranger to the pupil transportation industry. She has served as the board’s representative at 15 major accidents, including the November 2006 school bus crash in Huntsville, Ala., and the April 2005 collision of a school bus with a trash truck in Arlington, Va.
Interestingly, her credentials include a CDL with a school bus endorsement. She is also a certified child passenger safety technician.
In 2007, Hersman addressed the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services in a Webcast on school bus safety.
Hersman discussed several pupil transportation accidents that the NTSB has investigated, including the March 2000 bus-train crash near Conasauga, Tenn., in which three children were killed. Following its investigation of that accident, the NTSB issued 10 recommendations on improving school bus and grade crossing safety. Before joining the 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 railroads, trucks, buses, pipelines and hazardous materials transportation. Mark Rosenker is currently serving as acting chairman of the NTSB.