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New NHTSA Administrator Announced

It may have taken nearly a year, but President Barack Obama has finally made his choice for National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) administrator. The White House announced it was nominating Mark Rosekind , currently a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) board member, to lead NHTSA. Rosekind now faces Senate confirmation.

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton has said that he's glad to see the president is “finally taking steps to fill this critical safety post, especially in light of the mounting recalls."

Rosekind, sleep scientist by training, has been on the NTSB's board since 2010. Before that, he spent 13 years as the president of Alertness Solutions, and also worked for NASA for several years. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx called Rosekind a "leader ready-made for this critical responsibility," adding it would be his job not only to hold automakers accountable, but "raise the bar on safety.” According to the NTSB website, Rosekind is a leading expert in human fatigue.

NHTSA has suffered amid harsh criticism, claiming that the agency has sat on the sidelines concerning recent auto part failure recalls, such as the GM ignition switch, and now the Takata Corp airbag recall. “Rosekind has his work cut out for him,” said Jeff Hennie, Vice President of Government Relations and Public Affairs for the Motorcycle Riders Foundation. “We look forward to working with him as we tackle highway safety issues in an appropriate way.” Hennie added.

At the time of this release it was not known if the Senate will take up the nomination before the scheduled adjournment in December.