WASHINGTON (Jan. 20) — The Bush administration has nominated Nicole Nason, assistant secretary of the Department of Transportation for governmental affairs, to be the next chief of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
In her role as lawyer for the DOT, Nason lobbies Congress on transportation issues.
If confirmed by the Senate, Nason would succeed Jeffrey Runge as NHTSA administrator. Runge left in September to be chief medical officer of the Department of Homeland Security.
Jacqueline Glassman has been serving as acting administrator.
NHTSA is approaching final decisions on new side-impact crash standards and roof strength regulations and on a major overhaul of the government´s fuel economy program.
Sources have said for several months that Nason was the likely nominee. During that time she did not respond to interview requests.
Joan Claybrook, president of the consumer group Public Citizen, said in the Jan. 19 Washington Post that Nason, if confirmed, would be in the position of implementing measures that she had opposed as a lobbyist.