Deborah A.P. Hersman, who has been a Member of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) for five years, was sworn in on Tuesday as the agency's 12th Chairman.
Hersman was nominated for the two-year term as Chairman by President Barack Obama on June 18 and confirmed by the United States Senate on July 24. She was also nominated and confirmed for a second five-year term as board member, which runs through December 31, 2013.
"The NTSB is an outstanding organization that commands respect across the globe for its comprehensive investigations of transportation accidents," Hersman said.
"I am grateful to have this extraordinary opportunity to lead a talented, dedicated staff to make a world-class organization even better."
Hersman became a member of the Safety Board on June 21, 2004. Since then, she has chaired a number of public events hosted by the Board. In October 2008 she chaired a two-day public hearing on an accident in Victoria, Texas involving a motorcoach that did not comply with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.
She has been the Board Member on scene at 16 major transportation accidents, including a freight train collision and hazardous materials release in Graniteville, S.C. in 2005 that killed nine people; the 2006 crash of a regional jet in Lexington, Kentucky that killed 49 aboard the jet; and, most recently, last month's collision between two Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) trains that resulted in nine fatalities.