President Donald Trump intends to nominate Heidi King to lead the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the White House announced late Thursday.
King currently serves as the NHTSA's deputy administrator, a title change following the statutory end of her term as NHTSA's acting administrator that begin last September.
NTEA, the association for the work truck industry, supports the choice.
“NTEA is pleased that President Trump has nominated Heidi King to be the NHTSA Administrator. Having an Administrator confirmed will allow the Agency to do an even better job helping to assure safer driving," NTEA said in a statement.
King is scheduled to speak April10 at the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association Legislative Summit. Summit attendees will have the opportunity to hear from King on several key supplier issues, including enhancing the U.S. New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) with crash avoidance technologies, vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications, automated vehicles policy, and more, MEMA reports.
The National Safety Council (NSC) is also supportive of King’s nomination.
“King’s leadership experience and commitment to safety are much needed at a time when motor vehicle crashes are killing more than 100 people per day in the U.S.,” the group said in a statement. “[She] understands the importance of proven prevention strategies combined with forward-thinking innovation as we take aim at this everyday killer. We look forward to working closely with her to eliminate preventable deaths and make our roads safer.”
In addition to writing and enforcing Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, NHTSA also manages vehicle fuel economy standards in conjunction with the Environmental Protection Agency. The Trump administration has recently announced plans to relax Obama-era standards for light-duty vehicles.
The California native served the 112th Congress as chief economist for the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and also served as regulatory policy analyst in the White House’s Office of Management and Budget from 1998 to 2000 and 2007 to 2011.
King previously held research and strategy roles at Telcordia Technologies, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, and as an executive at General Electric. She’s experienced in traffic safety and emergency response after serving as a state park ranger in California and volunteer emergency medical technician.
Her work at Telcordia, a research and development company that was established after the 1982 breakup of Bell Laboratories, fueled a passion for research innovation, and the ability to anticipate and foster technological progress in areas like cybersecurity and automated driving systems.
During her stints with the OMB, King also developed a familiarity with the NHTSA’s work on Corporate Average Fuel Economy.
Below, in a February hearing, U.S. Rep. Tony Cárdenas questions King about the Trump administration's delay in naming a NHTSA administrator, as well as about guidelines and regulations for self-driving vehicles.