Former NTSB Chairman Resigns

 - September 20, 2006, 7:08 AM

Even though Ellen Engleman Conners vowed last December that she would serve out the remainder of her term on the NTSB as a member “and not be tied down as chairman,” she submitted her resignation to President Bush in April, effective May 31.

She joined the Safety Board on March 24, 2003, when she began a two-year term as chairman and CEO of the agency. Since the expiration of her chairmanship in March last year, she has continued to serve as a member. Her term as a member did not expire until December 31 next year.

After her term as chairman expired, she had to wait weeks before her renomination came through. In the meantime, she moved out of her office in the NTSB’s Washington headquarters. Last November, the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee dropped her from a scheduled confirmation hearing.

During her tenure, Engleman Conners came under fire from fellow board members for her management style, which ruffled more than a few feathers. Last December, she asked President Bush to withdraw her nomination for a second term as chairman of the Safety Board.

“My decision to focus on my role as a member of the [NTSB] is based in large part on the opportunity these last seven months have given me to serve without the additional demands of the chairmanship,” she wrote. “The NTSB’s role in safety advocacy is critical and I hope to aggressively pursue these responsibilities.”