Deborah Hersman is president and chief executive officer of the National Safety Council, a nonprofit organization with the mission of eliminating preventable deaths in our lifetime.

Acknowledged as a visionary, Ms. Hersman is a passionate safety leader who advocates for safety across all industries. She has a frontline understanding of the value of protecting human life at work, in our homes and communities, and on the road.

Ms. Hersman is current Chairwoman for the Road to Zero Coalition led by the National Safety Council, The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Federal Highway Administration and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The Coalition aims to end roadway fatalities by 2050. She has served on the Department of Transportation Advisory Committee on Automation in Transportation and regularly testifies on automated technology implementation that can save lives and eliminate preventable fatalities.

Prior to joining NSC, Ms. Hersman served as chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board from 2009-2014. Among her many initiatives as chairman, Ms. Hersman focused on distracted driving, child passenger safety and helping victims and their families. Ms. Hersman was an NTSB board member on-scene for more than 20 major transportation incidents, chaired scores of NTSB hearings, forums and events and regularly testified before Congress.

Ms. Hersman was a senior advisor to the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation from 1999-2004. She also served as staff director and senior legislative aide to former U.S. Rep. Bob Wise (D. – W. Va.) from 1992-1999. Her efforts contributed to the passage of milestone bills such as the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999, Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002, Transportation Equity Act of the 21st Century and Amtrak Reform and Accountability Act.

Ms. Hersman holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in political science and international studies from Virginia Tech, and a Master’s of Science degree in conflict analysis and resolution from George Mason University. She is a certified child passenger safety technician and attained a commercial driver’s license (with passenger, school bus and air brake endorsements) as well as a motorcycle endorsement.