Washington Report: Former NHTSA boss named to NTSB

 - May 21, 2008, 11:05 AM

President Bush nominated former National Highway Traffic Safety Administration administrator Marion Blakey to the NTSB. If she is confirmed by the Senate, Bush plans to nominate her as chair of the Board.

Blakey is a veteran of what Washington refers to as Bush I, the administration of the current president’s father. After she left the federal government in 1993, she ran her own public relations company. Among her clients were the Airports Council International-North America, which she helped win authorization for increased passenger facility charges.

NTSB members serve for five years, while the chairmanship is a two-year term that requires a separate Senate vote. Carol Carmody is currently serving as acting chairman. Blakey would take a seat now occupied temporarily by John Hammerschmidt, whose term expired last December 31. Blakey’s
term would run until Dec. 31, 2005. Hammerschmidt would be renominated to board, but his new term would run only through Dec. 31, 2002, as he would be filling the vacancy left by former chairman Jim Hall.

In addition to working in Bush I, Blakey worked in the Reagan White House before becoming director of public affairs at the Commerce Department in 1989. She became assistant transportation secretary for public affairs in 1990 and NHTSA administrator two years later.