WASHINGTON (July 15)—Jeffrey W. Runge, administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration since August 2001, is leaving the agency at the end of August to become chief medical officer for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Runge oversaw NHTSA through one of its most significant and controversial periods, when the agency first promulgated rules and regulations emanating from the Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation Act passed by Congress in October 2000. Among the rules handed down on his watch were those on tire pressure monitoring systems, "early warning" notification and the first revision since 1968 of federal tire safety standards.
Runge "has been very professional in his dealings with the association," said a spokesman for the Rubber Manufacturers Administration, noting that RMA President Donald B. Shea was one of those Runge notified in advance of his decision to leave the agency. "This has been a very respectful relationship."