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Who will be new Secretary of Transportation and director of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration?

As an attorney in Atlanta, Georgia, handling litigation resulting from accidents involving motor carriers (truck, bus, tractor trailer, big rigs, etc.), I have observed with interest the controversies about the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in recent years. Looking ahead, it will be interesting to see who is picked to run the DOT and FMCSA in the next administration.

With many challenges regarding infrastructure, funding and technology, as well as safety rules and enforcement, personnel will be policy.

A report from Associated Press lists three likely candidates for Secretary of Transportation: Jane Garvey, former head of the Federal Aviation Administration. Mortimer Downey, former deputy transportation secretary. Steve Heminger, executive director, San Francisco Bay area transportation commission. Garvey and Downey are both on the Obama DOT transition team.

Garvey graduated from Mount St. Mary’s College and earned an M.A. at Mount Holyoke. She was the first female FAA administrator. .Here is a copy of her testimony to Congress as FAA Administrator after September 11th. Out of office, she has been executive vice president of the transportation practice at the Washington lobbying firm APCO Worldwide. She has also served the boards of Mitre, the Flight Safety Foundation, and Canadian aircraft manufacturer Bombardier She currently serves as the chairwoman of the Capital-to-Capital Coalition, which advocates for nonstop commercial air service between Beijing and Washington Dulles International Airport and head of U.S. public-private partnerships at JPMorgan

Downey also has had a long career in public transportation administration. His educational background includes graduation with honors from Yale University in 1958, a master’s degree in public administration from New York University in 1966, and the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program in 1988. He worked in administration for the Port Authority of New York, as a congressional transportation analyst, Assistant Secretary for Budget and Programs at the Department of Transportation in the Carter Administration, executive director and chief financial officer at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) in New York. In the Clinton Administration, he was Deputy Secretary of USDOT and was the Department’s Chief Operating Officer. Out of office, he has been with Parsons Brinckerhoff, an international engineering and transportation consulting firm.

Heminger is the executive director of Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) in the San Francisco Bay area and has served on the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission. He received his M.A. from the University of Chicago and a B.A. from Georgetown University.

The transition team also has considered Rep. James L. Oberstar, D-Minn., chairman of the House Transportation Committee, and Rep. Peter A. DeFazio, D-Ore., chairman of its highways and transit subcommittee.

I haven’t yet seen speculation in the press about who might be the new FMCSA chief, but stay tuned.

Ken Shigley is a trial attorney in Atlanta, Georgia who has been listed as a “Super Lawyer” (Atlanta Magazine), among the “Legal Elite” (Georgia Trend Magazine), and in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers (Martindale). He served as chair of the Southeastern Motor Carrier Litigation Institute, is on the National Advisory Board for the Association of Interstate Trucking Lawyers of America, and is a frequent national seminar speaker for the Interstate Trucking Litigation Group of the American Association for Justice. A Certified Civil Trial Advocate of the National Board of Trial Advocacy, he was a faculty member for ten years at the Emory University Law School Trial Techniques Program.