NHTSA Administrator Going Through the Revolving Door

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:

As we watch this national spectacle, let’s consider the context and ask the needed questions on how to build a Safer America.


Under President Obama Mr. David L. Strickland has been NHTSA Administrator for 4 years. Since President Obama was sworn in as President:

    • More than 132,250 Americans died of crash injuries in his first term in office – more than died in the entire Afghanistan, Iraq, Viet Nam, and Korean Wars combined..
    • An additional estimated 500,000 Americans suffered serious crash injuries.
    • Crash losses, using DOT values, now exceed a Trillion dollars.
    • Mr. Strickland knows this record from my emails and my petitions. And he has now chosen to leave NHTSA to become a lobbyist. I don’t yet know for which monied interests he will be lobbying. He recently returned from a globe trotting trip to India (as reported at a recent meeting organized by NHTSA).

Upon election in 2008, President Obama’s published an Ethics plan that addressed lobbying and the Revolving Door.

“Close the Revolving Door on Former and Future Employers: No political appointees in the Obama-Biden administration will be permitted to work on regulations or contracts directly and substantially related to their prior employer for two years. And no political appointee will be able to lobby the executive branch after leaving government service during the remainder of the administration.”

See http://change.gov/agenda/ethics_agenda/

Then see Executive Order 13490:


“I will not for a period of 2 years from the date of my appointment participate in any particular matter involving specific parties that is directly and substantially related to my former employer or former clients, including regulations and contracts.”

So will Mr. Strickland violate the letter or spirit of these ethics rules? Or will he confine himself just to lobbying the Congress for the next couple of years? Or will the President’s actions have no teeth? Or do these Harvard lawyers (Obama and Strickland) trained to make big money serving big monied interests know of loopholes that we, the little people, don’t yet know about?

How do we do a better job of getting appointees who will serve the public interest?

Venable Law Firm of Lobbyists

Strickland joins Venable LLP. See http://www.venable.com/

Venable’s Public Words on David Strickland

“January 8, 2014 NHTSA Administrator David L. Strickland to Join DC Regulatory Group Top DOT official and former Senate committee counsel, who oversaw increased environmental and safety standards at NHTSA, will join Venable’s highly rated group

Washington, DC (January 8, 2014) – Building on the strength of its Regulatory and Legislative practices, Venable LLP announced today that David L. Strickland, Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), will join the firm’s Washington, DC office as partner later this month.

Nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the United States Senate, Mr. Strickland has served as NHTSA Administrator since 2010. Through his position as the country’s top automotive safety official, Mr. Strickland has overseen the development of the first national fuel efficiency program in conjunction with the Environmental Protection Agency, issued the first ever ejection mitigation standards for passenger vehicles to help keep passengers from being partially or fully ejected from vehicles during a rollover crash, and brought national attention to child passenger safety issues. While at NHTSA, Mr. Strickland oversaw a broad range of vehicle safety and policymaking programs including setting vehicle safety standards, investigating possible safety defects, and tracking safety-related recalls; establishing and enforcing regulations on fuel economy; investigating odometer fraud and publishing vehicle theft data. He has also been a leader in the campaign to prevent distracted driving.

Prior to his tenure as the NHTSA Administrator, Mr. Strickland spent eight years on the staff of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation as Senior Counsel. Through this position he served as lead counsel for subcommittees overseeing the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), NHTSA, and the Department of Commerce. Mr. Strickland provided legal and legislative advice to Members on a range of issues including insurance, antitrust, consumer protection and fraud prevention, internet privacy, tourism, consumer product safety and liability, passenger motor vehicle safety and fuel efficiency, and the U.S. Olympic Committee.

“An advocate for public safety on the roads, David has impressed the industry with his accomplishments,” said Brock R. Landry, co-chair of Venable’s Government Division. “From the Hill to the Administration, David is well respected and understands the often complex regulatory process from different points of view. He will play a key role in the ongoing growth of our Government Affairs, Automotive, and Technology practices.” Stuart P. Ingis, Partner-in-Charge of the Washington, DC office added, “David is a problem solver and consensus builder, both critical traits to effectively representing clients in Washington. David is a tireless advocate in everything he has done. We are thrilled to have him as part of the Venable team and I know he’ll bring the same passion and energy to our clients that he brought to his public service.”

Commenting on his move to Venable, Mr. Strickland said, “It has been an honor to focus on auto safety for the past four years, however, most of my work in public service has been on broad consumer protection policy, including FTC and CPSC issues. Venable has one of the strongest regulatory and consumer protection policy practices in America. Joining this team of extremely talented attorneys and experts to help develop cross-cutting and thoughtful solutions captures what I envisioned in a full service firm. I could not be more excited to be joining them.”

“With federal regulations impacting our daily lives in more ways than most people can imagine, Venable knows how to navigate through and how to get things done. I’m looking forward to this new challenge and bringing my experience to one of the top teams in the country,” he added.

At Venable, Mr. Strickland joins a bipartisan team of senior Washington insiders including former U.S. Senator Birch Bayh, former U.S. Secretary of Transportation James H. Burnley IV and former Congressman Bart Stupak. The team also includes former veteran Capitol Hill legislative staffers and Executive Branch policy advisors and regulators from both sides of the aisle. Venable was recently recognized by U.S. News-Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” as a Tier 1 firm Nationally and in Washington, DC for Litigation – Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) and Tier 1 in Washington, DC for Administrative / Regulatory Law.

Mr. Strickland earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1993 and a B.S. from Northwestern University in 1990.


Note: Venable is an American Lawyer Global 100 law firm serving clients globally. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with offices in California, Delaware, Maryland, New York and Virginia, Venable LLP lawyers and legislative advisors serve the needs of our domestic and global clients in all areas of corporate and business law, complex litigation, intellectual property, regulatory, and government affairs around the globe.”

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