Created as an independent federal agency in 1967, the NTSB has investigated more than 132,000 accidents and made more than 13,500 safety recommendations. The NTSB is recognized internationally as a preeminent accident investigation organization. Chairman Deborah Hersman serves as the chief executive of the agency, which has 400-plus employees and an annual budget of more than $100 million.
Among her many initiatives, Chairman Hersman has focused attention and actions on distracted driving, child passenger safety, and helping accident victims and their families. She emphasizes the NTSB's role as "the conscience and the compass of the transportation industry.”
Chairman Hersman has been the Board Member on-scene for 19 major transportation accidents, chaired scores of NTSB hearings, forums and events, and regularly testifies before Congress.
Hersman was first appointed as a Board Member by President Bush in 2004 and reappointed to a second five-year term by President Obama. Appointed Chairman by President Obama in 2009 and 2011 with unanimous Senate confirmation votes, she is now serving her second term as Chairman. Her Board position and chairmanship both expire in 2013.