Deborah Hersman will leave her post as CEO and president of the National Safety Council on Jan. 11.

Deborah Hersman will leave her post as CEO and president of the National Safety Council on Jan. 11.

ITASCA, Ill. — Deborah Hersman, who has worked closely on vehicle safety matters at the National Safety Council (NSC), will step down from her role as chief executive officer and president.

Hersman will leave the council on Jan. 11 to become the first chief safety officer for Waymo, a self-driving technology development company based in Mountain View, California, according to a news release from the council.

“On behalf of the NSC board of directors, congratulations to Debbie on her exciting new role with Waymo,” said Mark Vergnano, NSC board chairman. “Debbie has always been a strong champion for safety and she is perfectly positioned to lead Waymo through the next phase of their self-driving vehicle program.”

Hersman joined the NSC in May 2014 after serving nearly 10 years at the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), in which she worked five years as NSTB chairman.

During her tenure with the NSC, the council launched several initiatives focused on eliminating preventable deaths. Among them, the council co-founded the Road to Zero Coalition, published the first-ever “State of Safety” report to grade states on their safety records, and took on fatigue in the workplace as a strategic initiative.

Vergnano added that he has confidence in the leadership team Hersman has assembled at NSC and in the council's current chief operating officer Nicholas Smith, who will assume Hersman's role as interim president and CEO.

The council's board has begun a nationwide search for a new president and CEO.

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