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NHTSA: 50 Years of Advances in Road Safety and the Challenges Ahead

Virtual Event

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration hosted a series of discussions about road safety.

The week of September 14, we hosted seven sessions over four days highlighting key areas of road safety over the last five decades and discussing the challenges ahead. You can view recordings of all the NHTSA expert panel discussions by clicking on the links with the session descriptions below.


Download recordings from these events

Monday, September 14

NHTSA’s Occupant Protection and Impaired Driving Programs

This panel will discuss NHTSA’s initiatives to promote seat belt and child passenger restraint use, and the prevention of drug- and alcohol-impaired driving. NHTSA experts will highlight current challenges and the future of these programs. 


James C. Owens
NHTSA Deputy Administrator


Robert Ritter
Director, Office of Impaired Driving and Occupant Protection

Jacob Enriquez
Mathematical Statistician

Mary Byrd
Highway Safety Specialist

Laura Dunn
Highway Safety Specialist

Rory Austin
Division Chief, Office of Behavioral Research

Raj Subramanian
Director, Office of Traffic Records and Analysis

Jennifer Davidson
Highway Safety Specialist

Nicole Booker
Highway Safety Specialist

DeReece Smither
Research Psychologist

Monday, September 14

The Evolution of NHTSA’s Defect Investigation and Recall Processes

A look at advances in investigating vehicle and equipment defects and overseeing recalls. The panel will discuss new investigative risk-based processes and how record numbers of recalls are monitored. Examples of high-profile recalls, like Takata air bags, and emerging trends in vehicle technology will also be discussed. 


Stephen Ridella
Director, Office of Defects Investigation

Gregory Magno
Chief, Vehicle Defects Division A

Joshua Neff
Chief, Recalls Management Division

Tuesday, September 15

Law Enforcement, Emergency Medical Services, and the National 911 Program – Critical to NHTSA’s Mission

The panel will discuss how NHTSA supports our Law Enforcement and EMS partners. NHTSA experts will detail the critical roles Law Enforcement, EMS, and 911 play in fulfilling NHTSA’s safety mission.


Jack Danielson
NHTSA Executive Director


Keith Williams
Division Chief, Enforcement & Justice Services

Wil Price
Highway Safety Specialist

Bill O'Leary
Highway Safety Specialist

Gamunu Wijetunge
Highway Safety Specialist

Katherine Elkins
Highway Safety Specialist

Tuesday, September 15

NHTSA’s New Car Assessment Program

A discussion of how NCAP and NHTSA’s 5-Star Safety Ratings have influenced vehicle safety, the role the program plays in advancing innovation and design, and the future of NCAP. 


Ryan Posten
Associate Administrator, Rulemaking


Jenny Dang
Division Chief, New Car Assessment

Mai Lan Lee
General Engineer

Johanna Lowrie
Program Analysist 

William Millis
General Engineer

Wednesday, September 16

The Evolution and Role of Technology in Supporting NHTSA’s Mission to Save Lives

A showcase of NHTSA’s vehicle safety efforts that will highlight how the agency uses science, data, and engineering to inform its policy, research, and consumer education efforts to address roadway safety.


Jonathan Morrison
NHTSA Chief Counsel


Cem Hatipoglu
Associate Administrator, Vehicle Safety Research

Dee Williams
Deputy Associate Administrator, Vehicle Safety Research

Larry Blincoe
Director, Regulatory Analysis & Evaluation

Shashi Kuppa
Division Chief, Special Vehicle and Systems Division

Allison Louden
Mechanical Engineer

Rodney Rudd
Mechanical Engineer

Elizabeth Mazzae
General Engineer

Sebastian Silvani
Program Manager

Thursday, September 17

Where the Rubber Meets the Road: NHTSA’s Regional Operations and Program Delivery 

A discussion of how NHTSA’s Grants Management and Regional Offices impact the agency’s safety efforts in the States and communities through grant administration, program delivery, and technical assistance.


Richard Simon
Regional Administrator

Barbara Sauers
Director, Office of Grants Management and Operations

Susan deCourcy
Regional Administrator

Brian Huynh
Regional Program Manager

Thursday, September 17

Secretary’s Remarks and Deputy Administrator’s Keynote 


Closed captioning will be provided for these events. People with disabilities who need additional accommodations should send a request to no later than Sept. 10.

Through the Years

A look at NHTSA Administrators through the years.