President Obama has nominated Christopher Hart to be the next chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board.

He has been vice chairman since October 2013 and has been a member of NTSB since October 2009, along with other stints from 2009 through 2013 and 1990 through 1993.

Hart faces confirmation by the Senate to fill the position left open when Deborah Hersman left earlier this year to lead the National Safety Council. During Hersman’s tenure, NTSB has been active in promoting truck safety in numerous ways ranging from electronic logs to distracted driving to parking.

Prior to joining the NTSB, Hart was the deputy director for air traffic safety oversight at the Federal Aviation Administration from 2005 to 2009 and was the assistant administrator for system safety at the FAA from 1995 to 2005.  From 1994 to 1995, he was deputy administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  He was a Member of the National Transportation Safety Board from 1990 to 1993. 

Hart was managing partner at the law firm of Hart & Chavers from 1981 to 1990 and associate attorney at Dickstein, Shapiro & Morin from 1979 to 1981. He served as the deputy assistant general counsel for environmental, civil rights, and general law at the Department of Transportation from 1977 to 1979.

Hart is a licensed pilot with commercial, multi-engine, and instrument ratings. He received a B.S.E. and M.S. from Princeton University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

The National Transportation Safety Board is an independent federal agency charged by Congress with investigating every civil aviation accident the United States and significant accidents in other modes of transportation; railroad, highway, marine and pipeline. It determines the probable cause of the accidents and issues safety recommendations aimed at preventing future accidents, but does not issue regulations.