NHTSA Leadership

Associate Administrator, Regional Operations and Program Delivery: Dr. Mary Gunnels

Dr. Mary Gunnels is associate administrator for Regional Operations and Program Delivery NHTSA.  She came to the U.S. Department of Transportation in 2002, after working more than 15 years in clinical care and program administration, and in academia, in Texas and Oregon.  Gunnels was appointed to the Senior Executive Service in 2007.  She joined the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration 2004, where she served as director of the FMCSA Medical Programs. Previously, Gunnels was a faculty member at Oregon Health and Sciences University in Portland from 1995 to 2002. While in the Department of Emergency Medicine, she expanded her activities to include national traffic safety programs and research in emergency medical services and motor vehicle-related injury.  

Gunnels has a career history of service and leadership in professional organizations and has served on numerous State-appointed committees and injury prevention coalitions and task forces at the community, state and national levels. She is the recent recipient of the Secretary of Transportation’s Gold Medal for Outstanding Achievement for her work on the surface transportation authorization team in 2016.  A long-time supporter of student programs, she received an Outstanding Mentor Award for the U.S. DOT Student Transportation Internship Program for Diverse Groups program in 2014.