President Barack Obama said he intends to name Cynthia Quarterman as administrator of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration within the Department of Transportation
, according to a recent White House announcement.

The PHMSA works to ensure the safe and secure movement of hazardous materials to industry and consumers by all transportation modes, including the nation's pipelines. As administrator, Quarterman would act as the agency's chief executive, providing direction to nearly 400 employees within the its Washington, D.C. headquarters and regions.

Quarterman is currently serving as a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of the law firm Steptoe & Johnson, where she handles regulatory and litigation in the areas of transportation and natural resources.

Her past experience includes serving on Obama's transition team at the U.S. Department of Energy, as well as a stint with the U.S. Department of the Interior as director of Minerals Management Service during the Clinton administration. During her time as director, she handled the compliance of many environmental regulations, including the National Environmental Policy Act, the Clean Air Act, the Coastal Zone Management Act, and the Endangered Species Act.

She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in industrial engineering from Northwestern University. She also earned a Juris Doctorate degree from Columbia University's School of Law, where she served as executive editor of the Columbia Journal of Environmental Law.