President fills the gaps at FMCSA, FHWA

President Barack Obama last week appointed T.F. Scott Darling III as the next administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, (FMCSA) the same day the U.S. Senate confirmed the appointment of acting administrator Greg Nadeau to the top spot at FHWA.

The Administration had recently come under fire for leaving top transportation posts vacant.

Darling also served as acting administrator at FMCSA but had to relinquish the title after holding it for six months, a federal requirement. Darling has been serving as the agency’s chief counsel.

Darling will succeed Anne S. Ferro, who resigned from the post in August 2014 to take a position with the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA).

Prior to going to Washington, Darling was the deputy chief of staff and assistant general counsel for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) from 2009-2012. From 2005 to 2008, Darling served as the Environmental and Land Use Counsel for the MBTA.

He worked for the Conservation Law Foundation/CLF Ventures as the director of Greater Boston Institute and staff attorney from 2003-2005. From 2001-2003, Darling served as the part-time executive director for Freedom House in Dorchester, Massachusetts.

Darling holds a B.A. from Clark University, an M.P.P from Tufts University, and a J.D. from Suffolk University.

“I am grateful that these talented and dedicated individuals have agreed to take on these important roles and devote their talents to serving the American people,” Obama said. “I look forward to working with them.”

“We congratulate Scott on his nomination to this critical position and we look forward to continuing to work with him to improve truck and highway safety,” said American Trucking Associations President and CEO Bill Graves.

Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx praised Darling’s appointment. “Through strong and effective management as chief counsel and acting administrator of FMCSA, Scott has already demonstrated his ability to lead the agency,” Foxx said. “He is committed to making our roads safer for motorists, passengers and professional truck and bus drivers, and is constantly working with all sides to find solutions to challenges facing the industry and the motoring public. FMCSA will continue to benefit from his years of leadership and experience working in the transportation sector. I look forward to our continued work together,” Foxx said.

“We look forward to continuing to work with Administrator Scott Darling,” said Jim Johnston, president and CEO of OOIDA. “We have found him to be open and receptive to input from the association, and he appears to appreciate the role of professional truckers.”

On August 5, the Senate unanimously confirmed Greg Nadeau as administrator of FHWA. He was nominated by President Obama for the post back in May.

Nadeau has served as the agency’s deputy administrator since 2009. From July 2014 to February 2015, he also served as FHWA’s acting administrator.

Prior to joining FHWA, Nadeau held executive positions with the Maine Department of Transportation from 2002 to 2009, including Deputy Commissioner for Policy, Planning and Communications.

His other governmental experience includes holding a seat in the Maine House of Representatives from 1978 to 1990 and serving as a senior policy advisor to Maine Gov. Angus King from 1995 to 2002. Nadeau is a native of Lewiston, Me.

“Greg Nadeau is the right person to lead the Federal Highway Administration. He is a true leader whose experience and strength of character position him to lead this critical agency into the future,” said Senators King and Susan Collins in a joint statement on his confirmation. “We are delighted the Senate unanimously approved his nomination and look forward to working with him to modernize America’s highway system.”

In July, Nadeau told a Senate panel that he would continue to improve safety on the nation’s highways and would work to reduce fatalities and injuries.

“FHWA will leverage partnerships with states to make advancements in highway safety, building on the data-driven, strategic approach of the Highway Safety Improvement Program that focuses on improving safety performance for all road users,” Nadeau said.

Nadeau said that while federal statistics show fatalities and serious injuries on roadways are declining, the numbers remain “unacceptably high.” For 2014, preliminary data found that more than 32,000 people died on U.S. roadways.