WASHINGTON (Dec. 17, 2008—Joan Claybrook, who served as head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration during the Carter administration, is stepping down as president of the consumer group Public Citizen, effective Jan. 31.
“I am proud that Public Citizen under my leadership has played such a significant role in Congress, in government agencies and in the courts to protect the public health, safety and democracy for everyone in the U.S.,” Claybrook said of her 27-year tenure at Public Citizen in her resignation letter.
In that letter, Claybrook listed improved tire safety and greater transparency in the auto industry's dealings with NHTSA as among her proudest accomplishments. She also listed Public Citizen's efforts to defeat legislation to restrict damage awards in product liability lawsuits and its opposition to eliminating the estate tax.
Claybrook will remain on the board of directors of Public Citizen and will help prepare for the transition to her successor as president over the next several months, she said.
During her tenure at NHTSA, Claybrook was instrumental in promulgating stringent safety standards and programs at the agency, including Uniform Tire Quality Grading.