The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced that Anne S. Ferro was sworn in Nov. 13 as the agency’s administrator.
Ferro succeeds John Hill, who left in January following the conclusion of the Bush administration.
The U.S. Senate on Nov. 6 approved President Obama’s nomination of Ferro. Previously, the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee on Oct. 27 voted on and favorably reported Ferro’s nomination.
Promptly after Obama announced Ferro as his choice for FMCSA administrator last spring, several organizations – the Teamsters Union, the Truck Safety Coalition, Public Citizen and Parents Against Tired Truckers – wrote the president opposing her due to her current ties to trucking and her past public support for current hours-of-service regulations. A New York Times editorial called Ferro’s selection a “peculiar choice” for the job due to her current position as head of the Maryland Motor Truck Association and a letter to The Baltimore Sun that she co-authored in defense of the Bush administration’s hours rules.
Coincidentally or not, the Senate committee approved Ferro’s nomination one day after FMCSA agreed to reconsider the hours regulations.
Aside from heading MMTA, Ferro has served on regional advisory committees on freight planning, highway safety and transportation funding. And she was Maryland’s Motor Vehicle Administrator from 1997 to 2003, where she is credited with leading the effort to establish a graduated licensing program for new state drivers.
Buzzy France, president of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, says Ferro “has an excellent understanding of how government, law enforcement and industry need to work together to solve problems, and will be a great advocate for safety.”
During Ferro’s Sept. 23 confirmation hearing, Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), who heads the Commerce Committee’s surface transportation panel, told Ferro that FMCSA is “an agency in dire need of reform” and that he was concerned about her “ability to take the bold action we need to keep Americans safe.” Ferro described herself as a safety advocate, pointing to her record in Maryland.