The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


Cast of Characters

NTSB's Higgins Announces Departure After 34 Years in Public Service

By Al Kamen
National Transportation Safety Board member Kathryn O'Leary "Kitty" Higgins told the White House this morning that she has decided not to re-up for another term and will leave the board Aug. 3 to open up her own consulting firm.

"I appreciate your offer to nominate me for another term," she said in a letter to President Obama, but said she would decided to go back to the private sector. In her letter, Higgins hailed the board's staff as the "most resourceful and creative people I have ever met."

The White House expects that the Senate will soon confirm current member Deborah Hersman, who has been nominated to chair the five-member board, and nominee Chris Hart, without any difficulty. It's believed that Mark Rosekind, a former NASA scientist and fatigue-management expert, will be getting the nod to replace Higgins on the board. (Sources say another board member may also be leaving in the near future.)

Higgins departs after working 34 years in the public sector. She worked in the Carter White House, was deputy secretary of labor in the Clinton administration and was also Cabinet secretary in the Clinton White House. She had also worked in Congress as chief of staff to Rep. Sander Levin (D-Mich.) and as staff director to Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) on what is now the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee.

Posted at 2:51 PM ET on Jul 20, 2009  | Category:  Cast of Characters
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