With Meera Joshi departing to work back in New York City, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is once again in need of someone to lead it. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttgieg had suggested one of his closest assistants, Robin Hutcheson, for the job. Now, Biden has officially nominated her for the position.
Before working in the Biden-Harris Administration, Hutcheson served as the Director of Public Works for Minneapolis. She has also worked for Salt Lake City as its Transportation Director, and was president of the National Association of City Transportation Officials. Under Pete Buttgieg’s guidance, she worked as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Safety Policy for the U.S. Department of Transportation, and helped influence the Infrastructure Bill that eventually became law. Robin Hutcheson certainly seems fit for the role given her experience with safety in transportation.
Her nomination has been met with approval by industry association leaders, including Chris Spear of the American Trucking Association.
“America’s trucking industry is the backbone of our economy, and we depend on partners in government who value data and stakeholder input to meet real-world needs and ensure the safe movement of freight across our nation’s highways. That’s particularly timely now, as DOT works to implement the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which will strengthen highway safety standards while helping our industry meet the nation’s growing freight demands”, Spear said in a statement.
For her to become the FMCSA Administrator, her nomination will have to get past the United States Senate. However, with Joe Biden’s approval, the chances of that happening are very high.
Ultimately, her nomination raises the question as to how long she will fill the seat. We hope that it is the remainder of the Biden presidency, however, history has shown that the position does not stay filled for long: Hutcheson is the fourth person to take the role since November 2019, averaging a tenure of around 7.5 months each (previous acting Administrators have included Jim Mullen, Wiley Deck, and Meera Joshi). Hopefully, she will be able to buck the trend and bring some consistency to the FMCSA.
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