Meet Key Officials
Acting Administrator: James C. Owens
James C. Owens serves as the Acting Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), leading a safety organization with a budget of $966.2 million and 626 full-time employees across the country. In this capacity, Mr. Owens leads the execution of NHTSA’s mission of setting safety standards for motor vehicles and vehicle equipment, facilitating the testing and deployment of advanced vehicle technologies, rooting out vehicle defects, and educating Americans to help them drive, ride, and walk safely.
Executive Director: Jack Danielson
Jack Danielson serves as the Executive Director of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), overseeing the agency’s daily operations, internal management, and mission support programs, and providing executive direction over the Chief Financial Officer, the Chief Information Officer, and NHTSA’s eight Associate Administrators. In his capacity, Mr. Danielson serves as the agency’s senior career official supporting the NHTSA Administrator in providing leadership and establishing direction on policies, budgets, and the strategic priorities of a multifaceted organization with a budget of $911 million and 626 full-time employees located throughout the country.
Chief Counsel: Jonathan C. Morrison
As Chief Counsel, Jonathan Morrison oversees the provision of all legal services and advice for the full array of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) vehicle safety and highway safety programs.
Director, Governmental Affairs, Policy, and Strategic Planning: Brian Barnard
Brian Barnard is NHTSA’s Director of Governmental Affairs, Policy, and Strategic Planning. Mr. Barnard arrives at NHTSA having spent the last seven years working on appropriations, budget, and transportation policy on Capitol Hill. In his most recent role as the Legislative Director for a member of Congress from West Virginia, he managed appropriations and transportation initiatives, including efforts to improve the infrastructure of rural communities. Prior to that position, Mr. Barnard served for four years with the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development.
Communications Director: Sean Rushton
Sean Rushton serves as NHTSA’s Communications Director overseeing media relations, crisis communication, messaging, and strategy development in support of the agency’s mission to save lives.
Chief Safety Scientist: Joseph Kolly
Dr. Joseph M. Kolly is the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) first chief safety scientist, advising the Administrator on technical and safety related matters, and applying years of experience in transportation safety, investigation, and scientific research across NHTSA’s traffic safety portfolio
Director, Civil Rights: Regina Morgan
Regina Morgan serves as the Administrator’s principal staff advisor on all matters pertaining to civil rights. In this role, she directs the Agency’s internal Equal Employment Opportunity and external Equal Opportunity programs, and also provides assistance to the Office of the Secretary in investigating and resolving formal civil rights complaints of discrimination. Ms. Morgan works to ensure that civil rights are integrated into NHTSA’s core safety mission of saving lives, preventing injuries, and reducing crashes.
Chief Financial Officer: Cynthia Parker
Cynthia Parker serves as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), where she oversees three divisions and 24 employees responsible for financial management and audits, acquisitions, and budget performance and execution with oversight of the Agency’s $1 billion+ funding portfolio. Previously, Mrs. Parker was the deputy director of the Office of Financial Management and Transit Benefit Programs within the Assistant Secretary for Administration, Department of Transportation (DOT). In this capacity, she was responsible for the financial management and budget of the $181 million administrative Working Capital Fund, $30 million direct and reimbursable salaries and expense fund, and oversight of a $400 million transit benefit and parking program that provides transit benefit services to more than 110 Federal agencies for approximately 250,000 participants and garage management for more than 1,000 spaces.
Associate Administrator, National Center for Statistics and Analysis: Dr. Chou-Lin Chen
Dr. Chou-Lin Chen serves as Associate Administrator for the National Center for Statistics and Analysis (NCSA) at NHTSA. Dr. Chen began her career with NHTSA in 2002, where she served as Lead Mathematical Statistician and Team Leader, directing an analytical team in support of highway safety-related research analysis. In 2005, she transitioned to Supervisory Mathematical Statistician and Division Chief for NHTSA’s Mathematical Analysis Division, NCSA, where she oversaw the data analysis program. Most recently, Dr. Chen served as Director for the Office of Traffic Records and Analysis within NCSA, where she initiated the development and oversaw the implementation of programs monitoring the magnitude of traffic safety problems, as well as the effectiveness of countermeasures.
Senior Advisor, Administration: Vanester Williams
Vanester Williams is the Senior Advisor for Administration, and has also been the Director of the Office of Administrative and Management Services since 2004. Previously, Ms.Williams served as an information technology specialist for the Information Technology Program Management Office, Office of the Chief Information Officer, Maritime Administration.
Acting Chief Information Officer: Kevin Mahoney
Kevin Mahoney is the Acting Chief Information Officer (CIO) for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). As Acting CIO, Mr. Mahoney provides leadership and oversight to ensure NHTSA’s information technology (IT) systems and services effectively support and enable NHTSA’s mission. He leads the development and implementation of IT and Information Resource Management strategies, budgets, plans, standards, and policies, and oversees numerous IT programs including enterprise architecture, information assurance, and records management.
Associate Administrator, Communications and Consumer Information: Susan Gorcowski
Susan Gorcowski serves as the Associate Administrator for Communications and Consumer Information (OCCI) of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Ms. Gorcowski manages the office responsible for providing accurate and timely vehicle and traffic safety information to the news media, consumers, and partner organizations. Working closely with the program office, OCCI conducts market research, develops external communication strategies, implements paid and earned advertising campaigns, develops collateral program material in support of traffic and vehicle safety initiatives, and manages the Agency’s websites.
Acting Associate Administrator, Research and Program Development: Jon Krohmer
Jon Krohmer is the Acting Associate Administrator for Research and Program Development at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) with responsibility for the development of programs to increase seat belt use, decrease impaired driving, improve emergency medical services, and enhance the safety of motorcyclists, bicyclists, pedestrians and older drivers.
Associate Administrator, Regional Operations and Program Delivery: Jamie Pfister
Jamie Pfister serves as Associate Administrator for Regional Operations and Program Delivery at NHTSA. She recently came to NHTSA after working for more than 7 years at the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), working as Director of FTA Safety Oversight for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority, and providing safety oversight for the Metrorail system. While in this capacity, Ms. Pfister also served as Deputy Associate Administrator for the Office of Research, Demonstration, and Current Innovation, where she helped provide leadership to office directors for the effective program delivery of research, demonstration, evaluation, bus testing, standards development, transit industry training, and workforce development programs. Before her work as Director of Safety Oversight, Ms. Pfister served as Director of the Office of Transit Programs in the Office of Program Management.
Associate Administrator, Vehicle Safety Research: Cem Hatipoglu
Cem Hatipoglu serves as the Associate Administrator for Vehicle Safety Research at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). He is responsible for NHTSA’s vehicle safety research activities, which are focused on achieving the agency’s mission of reducing fatalities and injuries caused by motor vehicle crashes. This work includes developing and conducting research on vehicle automation, cybersecurity, vehicle connectivity, and vehicle crash safety.
Associate Administrator, Rulemaking: Ryan Posten
Ryan Posten has served in the Department of Transportation (DOT) for more than 26 years in various escalating roles and responsibilities to advance safety in the United States. Since August 2014, Mr. Posten has served as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Associate Administrator for Rulemaking. The office develops and promulgates Federal safety standards and regulations for motor vehicle safety, including crash protection, survivability, and avoidance. Mr. Posten serves as the principal advisor to the NHTSA Administrator on matters relating to the promulgation of rules, regulations, and policy in the setting of motor vehicle safety standards, fuel economy regulations for motor vehicles, anti-theft and consumer information rules and reports, and operation and development of NHTSA’s (5-Star Safety Ratings) New Car Assessment Program.
Associate Administrator, Enforcement: Jeffrey Giuseppe
With a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) career spanning 28 years, Jeffrey Giuseppe now serves as the Associate Administrator for Enforcement at NHTSA, where he is the principal advisor and consultant to the executive director and other top-level officials, internal and external to NHTSA, on matters relating to enforcement actions taken by the agency. He also serves as Director of the Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance for NHTSA, where he is the principal advisor and consultant to the associate administrator for Enforcement for all activities related to the Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance.