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NHTSA Leadership

Ann Carlson

Chief Counsel

NHTSA Chief Counsel Ann Carlson oversees legal services across the agency, including the agency’s statutory authorities. Her office supports NHTSA’s mission in a variety of ways, including setting and enforcing fuel economy standards for cars and trucks, setting and enforcing vehicle safety standards, and overseeing investigations and litigation.

Before joining NHTSA in January 2021, Carlson’s work primarily focused on climate change and air pollution law and policy. At the UCLA School of Law, Carlson was the Shirley Shapiro Professor of Environmental Law and the faculty co-director of the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment. She also served as the California Assembly’s representative to the Independent Emissions Market Advisory Committee and won three teaching awards, including the highest honor awarded by UCLA.

Carlson is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara and Harvard Law School, and has co-authored a leading environmental casebook, co-edited a book Lessons from the Clean Air Act, and written numerous environmental law publications.