Deborah Hersman

Ms. Hersman was a panelist for the Forum’s discussion on Self-Driving Cars.

Deborah Hersman is president and chief executive officer of the National Safety Council. The National Safety Council saves lives by preventing injuries and deaths at work, in homes, communities, and on the roads through leadership, research, education and advocacy.

Prior to joining the National Safety Council, Ms. Hersman served as chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board from 2009 – 2014. Ms. Hersman was first appointed as an NTSB board member by President Bush in 2004 and was reappointed to two additional five-year terms by President Obama in 2009 and 2013. Among her many initiatives as chairman, Ms. Hersman focused attention and actions on distracted driving, child passenger safety and helping victims and their families. Ms. Hersman responded on-scene to more than 25 major transportation crashes, chaired scores of NTSB hearings, forums and events and regularly testified before Congress.

Ms. Hersman was a senior advisor to the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation from 1999-2004. She served as staff director and senior legislative aide to West Virginia Congressman Bob Wise from 1992-1999. Her efforts contributed to the passage of milestone bills such as the Amtrak Reform and Accountability Act, Transportation Equity Act of the 21st Century, the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999, and the Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002.

Ms. Hersman holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in political science and international studies from Virginia Tech, and a Master’s of Science degree in conflict analysis and resolution from George Mason University. She also earned her Advanced Safety Certificate.