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Rosenker, Higgins to depart NTSB


National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Acting Chairman Mark Rosenker and member Kathryn O’Leary Higgins have submitted their resignations to President Obama. Both are stepping down to pursue private-sector opportunities.

Rosenker has led the NTSB the past four-and-a-half years. He will continue to serve the agency until a new chairman and additional board member are confirmed to ensure a quorum remains in place. Obama recently nominated Deborah Hersman as chairman.

Rosenker joined the NTSB as vice chairman in March 2003 and became acting chairman two years later. He was re-nominated by President Bush for a second term in October 2007. Prior to joining the board, Rosenker was deputy assistant to the president and director of the White House Military Office.

During his NTSB chairmanship, the board eliminated two rail-related items from its “most wanted” list of transportation safety improvements: positive train control and rail worker fatigue.

Higgins, who will step down Aug. 3, joined the NTSB in January 2006. She since has led several major accident investigations, including the Blue Line derailment in Chicago in July 2006; collision of two light-rail trains in Newton, Mass., in July 2008; and collision of a commuter train and freight train in Chatsworth, Calif., in September 2008.

Prior to joining the NTSB, Higgins held various government posts, including deputy secretary of labor, acting chair of the National Endowment of the Arts, vice chair of the Presidential Commission on U.S. Coast Guard Roles and Missions, and assistant to the president and cabinet secretary.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/23/2009