WASHINGTON – Christopher A. Hart was sworn as the 13th chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board today during a ceremony presided over by Chief Administrative Law Judge Alfonso Montano.
President Barack Obama nominated Hart to serve as chairman in January 2015, and the U.S. Senate confirmed him on March 12, 2015. He has been serving as acting chairman since April 26, 2014.
Prior to stepping into the role of acting chairman, Hart had served as vice chairman and a member of the Board since 2009. He also served as a member of the Board from 1990 to 1993.
"I am very grateful for this opportunity to lead this dynamic agency that is dedicated to improving transportation safety,” said Chairman Hart. “I have been involved in transportation safety for more than 30 years, and the NTSB truly sets the bar higher for continued safety improvement."
Chairman Hart is an aerospace engineer, attorney, and licensed pilot with commercial, multi-engine and instrument ratings. His family has a tradition of accomplishment in the field of transportation. In 1926, his great uncle, James Herman Banning, was the first African-American to receive a pilot's license issued by the U.S. Government.
After serving as a member of the Board from 1990-1993, Hart served as deputy administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, before moving to the Federal Aviation Administration in 1995. He served as the FAA assistant administrator for System Safety and then became deputy director for Air Traffic Safety Oversight before returning to the Board in 2009.
Chairman Hart holds a law degree from Harvard Law School and Master's and Bachelor's degrees in Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University. He is a member of the District of Columbia Bar and the Lawyer-Pilots Bar Association.