Deborah Hersman, who has been head of the National Transportation Safety Board since 2009, is a top contender for the job of Transportation Secretary, according to various sources. The Christian Science Monitor cited unspecified "reports" saying that Hersman will be President Obama's choice to fill the slot, but Hersman declined to comment. "I feel very privileged to have the job that I have now," she said, "so I am going to be focused on that." Hersman has been a highly visible player in the aviation world, participating in forums at EAA AirVenture, and taking on a wide variety of aviation issues, including pilot fatigue after the Colgan Air crash, air racing after the Reno crash that killed a pilot and 10 spectators, and homebuilt safety.
The Wall Street Journal also cited sources "close to the White House and familiar with the selection process" who said that although a final selection is pending, Hersman is expected to be the nominee. Hersman joined the safety board in 2004 as a board member and is now serving her second term as chairman. AVweb contributing editor Glenn Pew interviewed her in March 2010, covering a variety of topics including glass-cockpit technology and how the FAA and NTSB interact; click here for the podcast.