WASHINGTON, D.C. — Heidi King, the acting administrator for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), is reportedly stepping down.
Aug. 31 will be King’s last day in the position, the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) confirmed to SBF. King will be replaced by James Owens, the regulatory agency’s deputy general counsel.
As SBF previously reported, King was chosen by President Trump to lead the NHTSA in April 2018, after more than a year passed without a top official heading up the agency. King was already holding a leadership position at NHTSA, having served as deputy administrator since September 2017. The agency’s previous administrator was Mark Rosekind, an Obama appointee whose tenure ended before Trump took office in January 2017.
King narrowly cleared the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, which voted 14-13 to approve her nomination in June 2018, as SBF previously reported. However, her nomination wasn’t yet voted on by the full Senate, according to The Washington Post.
King had also served as chief economist for the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and as a regulatory policy analyst in the White House’s Office of Management and Budget from 1998 to 2000 and from 2007 to 2011. Through those positions, she became familiar with NHTSA and its work on Corporate Average Fuel Economy, according to her official NHTSA bio.
In other U.S. DOT personnel news, General Counsel Steven Bradbury has been named acting deputy secretary of the agency in addition to his current duties, effective immediately. Additionally, Christina Aizcorbe, the senior counselor for regulatory reform, has been named deputy general counsel of the U.S. DOT.