March 12, 2014
By Sarah Deener
National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman will leave the NTSB effective April 25, according to a March 11 NTSB blog post.
Hersman has served on the board since 2004 and was appointed chairman in 2009. She will assume the role of president and CEO of the Itasca, Ill.-based National Safety Council, a nonprofit organization with a mission to prevent unintentional injury and death.
The NTSB noted in the post that Hersman “elevated the stature of the NTSB with external stakeholders and the public by tripling the number of investigative hearings and public events hosted by the NTSB each year; completing many major accident investigations within 12 months; and revamping the agency’s public and media presence through strategic use of digital communications.” During her tenure as chairman, Hersman has overseen high-profile aviation accident investigations including the crash of a regional jet near Buffalo, N.Y., in 2009; the crash of an airplane carrying former Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska in 2010; and an accident at the National Championship Air Races in Reno, Nev., that killed the pilot and 10 spectators in 2011.
“We appreciate Ms. Hersman’s dedication to promoting safety in all aspects of aviation and her willingness to listen to the concerns and recommendations of the general aviation community,” said AOPA President Mark Baker. “Her focus on reducing preventable accidents through education and outreach has helped improve pilot awareness. We wish her well in her new role and look forward to continuing to work with NTSB to make aviation safer.”
NTSB Vice Chairman Christopher Hart will serve as acting chairman upon Hersman’s departure.
AOPA Pilot and Flight Training Managing Editor Sarah Deener is an instrument-rated private pilot and has worked for AOPA since 2009.
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