Former NTSB chair withdraws from second term consideration

| 12/8/2005

National Transportation Safety Board Member Ellen Engleman Conners has asked President Bush to withdraw her nomination for a second term as chairman of NTSB.

In a letter she sent the president Wednesday, Dec. 7, Engleman Conners said she intends to focus on continuing to serve as an aggressive advocate for safety in her role as a Member of the Safety Board, according to an NTSB press release.

“I sincerely request your consideration to withdraw my nomination to serve a second term as chairman of the NTSB in order that I may focus on continuing to serve as an aggressive advocate for safety in my role as Member of the National Transportation Safety Board,” Engleman Conners wrote.

Engleman Conners became member and chairman of NTSB on March 24, 2003. Her term as member runs through 2007. Her two-year term as chairman, which requires separate Senate confirmation, expired in late March of this year. In April, President Bush nominated her for a second term as chairman.

In her letter, Engleman Conners pointed out that the seven months since her term as chairman expired gave her a unique perspective.

“My decision to focus on my role as a member of the National Transportation Safety Board is based in large part on the opportunity these last seven months have given me to serve without the additional demands of the chairmanship,” she wrote. “The NTSB’s role in safety advocacy is critical and I hope to aggressively pursue these responsibilities.”

Among issues Engleman Conners wants to focus her attention on as a member of NTSB is the impact on people accidents have.

“During my service at the NTSB, I have traveled to many accident sites – spoken to transportation accident victims’ families and witnessed the loss of life and property that transportation accidents cause,” she wrote. “I renew my personal promise to each of these victims and their families each and every time – that I will do my utmost to ensure that another family does not suffer the same loss.”

According to the release, Engleman Conners highlighted her accomplishments as chairman in cutting unnecessary expenditures during a time of limited budgets, expanding the availability of board products such as Webcasting public meetings, and working to implement recommendations in the letter. Most importantly, she noted that the current number of unimplemented recommendations is less than 800, the lowest number since 1975.