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Obama tabs Hersman as NTSB chair, Hoglander as NMB member


On Tuesday, President Obama announced his intention to nominate Deborah Hersman as chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and re-nominate Harry Hoglander as a National Mediation Board (NMB) member.

An NTSB member since June 2004, Hersman has served as the board’s representative at 15 transportation accidents. Prior to joining the NTSB, she was a senior professional staff member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, where she was responsible for the legislative agenda and policy initiatives affecting surface transportation, including railroads, trucks, buses, pipelines and hazardous materials. Hersman also previously served as staff director and senior legislative aide to former Rep. Bob Wise (D-W.Va.).

The Transportation Trades Department (TTD) of the AFL-CIO hailed Hersman’s nomination.

“As recent events remind us, transportation accidents do happen, and workers and the public are best served by an aggressive NTSB with an unwavering commitment to safety,” said TTD President Edward Wytkind in a prepared statement. “Hersman’s detailed knowledge and extensive experience in transportation safety make her the ideal candidate to lead the NTSB. As its chair, she would run the agency tasked with learning important lessons from transportation accidents and ensuring they are not repeated.”

Meanwhile, Hoglander has been an NMB member since 2002 and twice has served as chairman. Prior to joining the board, he was a legislative specialist in the office of Rep. John Tierney (D-Mass.). Hoglander also previously was a captain with Trans World Airline and aviation labor representative to the U.S. Bi-Lateral Negotiating Team.

TDD backs Hoglander’s nomination, as well.

“With the struggles faced by American workers in a severely distressed economy, it gives us great hope that Mr. Hoglander will continue to serve at the NMB,” said Wytkind. “He will preside over collective bargaining and union organizing cases, where the outcomes will have a dramatic impact on the futures and livelihoods of tens of thousands of workers.”

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 6/11/2009