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 Biography

Official photo of T. Bella Dinh-Zarr, PhD, MPH

T. Bella Dinh-Zarr, PhD, MPH, is the 42nd Member of the National Transportation Safety Board, an independent U.S. federal agency charged by the U.S. Congress with investigating transportation disasters and making recommendations to advance safety.  Dr. Dinh-Zarr trained as a public health scientist, specializing in injury prevention, and has dedicated her career to working to ensure transportation safety is a policy priority, domestically and internationally.

At the NTSB, Dr. Dinh-Zarr served as Vice Chairman for 2 years (including a brief period as Acting Chairman) and has chaired aviation and highway public investigative Board meetings. She served as the Board Member for the NTSB’s Pedestrian Safety Forum and Rear Occupant Protection Workshop and has testified before the US Congress and State Legislatures on safety issues ranging from weather reporting for maritime safety to positive train control to .05 BAC laws for prevention of alcohol-impaired deaths and injuries.  She also has spoken to diverse industry, law enforcement, academic, and advocacy groups about NTSB’s safety recommendations in all modes of transportation.  Dr. Dinh-Zarr has launched with NTSB investigators to rail, marine, and aviation accidents.

Previously, Dr. Dinh-Zarr served as the U.S. Director, Road Safety Director, and UN Representative for the FIA Foundation, an international philanthropy with the mission of promoting safe and sustainable surface transportation, especially in developing countries.  In that role, she was active in promoting the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety and in advocating for transportation safety and injury prevention targets in the UN Sustainable Development Goals.  She also has worked with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), AAA, and the Texas Transportation Institute.  She was a Presidential Appointee to the White House Conference on Aging in 2005 and has championed dignified and safe mobility for older populations through community-based services and technological solutions.

Born in Vietnam, Dr. Dinh-Zarr is a graduate of Rice University in Texas and studied at La Universidad Católica de Valparaíso in Chile.  She has Master of Public Health (MPH) and PhD degrees from the University of Texas School of Public Health, with a fellowship at the Institute of Child Health in London and at the U.S. Guide to Community Preventive Services. Nominated by President Obama and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Dr. Dinh-Zarr’s term ends on December 31, 2018.