National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs
Washington, D.C. - Member Ellen Engleman Conners, who served two years as the agency's Chairman, announced this week that she intends to leave the Safety Board on May 31. In her April 17 letter of resignation to President George W. Bush, Member Engleman Conners said: "With great humility and thankfulness, I tender my resignation as a Member of the National Transportation Safety Board effective May 31, 2006. I wish to thank you for your inspirational leadership and your patient devotion to our country during this most severe challenge to our freedoms. It has been a great privilege to serve in three positions in your administration. Your vision for America has been my guide."
Member Engleman Conners joined the Safety Board on March 24, 2003, when she began a two-year term as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the agency. Since the expiration of her Chairmanship in March 2005, she has served as a Member of the NTSB. Her term as Member expires on December 31, 2007.
During her chairmanship, Engleman Conners successfully focused on reducing the number of open or non implemented NTSB safety recommendations to the lowest number since 1975, for which she received Aviation Week's highest honor, the Safety Laurels award in 2003. She was also the recipient of the 2004 Harrison Award for Public Service, from the Columbia Club, Indianapolis, Indiana, and the National Business Travel Association Founder's Award in 2005.
Engleman Conners also served as the member on scene for numerous accidents, including the Staten Island Ferry accident in 2003, the Baltimore water taxi capsizing in 2004, and most recently the Southwest Airlines runway overrun in Chicago last December. She represented the agency in national media and before Congress.
Before joining the NTSB, Engleman Conners served as the Administrator of the Research and Special Programs Administration at the U.S. Department of Transportation. During her tenure she focused on improving safety in the transportation of hazardous materials and the nation's 2.2 million miles of pipelines, including leading the effort to successfully fulfill NTSB recommendations for the Office of Pipeline Safety, resulting in their removal from the NTSB's "Most Wanted" list. She was responsible for the Office of Emergency Transportation during September 11th, for which she received the Secretary of Transportation's 9-11 Distinguished Service Medal and oversaw the design of the new Crisis Communication Management Center. She also co-chaired the transfer of the U.S. Coast Guard to the new Department of Homeland Security, for which she was the recipient of the U.S. Coast Guard Distinguished Public Service Award, its highest non-life-saving medal.
Prior to joining the U.S. Department of Transportation in 2001, she was a recognized and successful business leader in Indianapolis, Indiana and has held a number of executive positions in the private sector. She is also an officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve. Member Engleman Conners earned both a bachelor's and a Juris Doctor degree from Indiana University, and has a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University.
Member Engleman Conners' Letter to President George W. Bush
April 17, 2006
George W. Bush
President of the United States
Dear President Bush:
With great humility and thankfulness, I tender my resignation as a Member of the National Transportation Safety Board effective May 31, 2006.
I wish to thank you for your inspirational leadership and your patient devotion to our country during this most severe challenge to our freedoms.
It has been a great privilege to serve in three positions in your administration: Administrator of Research and Special Programs, U.S. Department of Transportation; as Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board and as a Member of the National Transportation Safety Board. In each position I have worked to implement your management agenda, focusing on a citizen-based government with emphasis on reduced costs and greater service. Your vision for America has been my guide.
I wish to thank Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta for his continued leadership and devotion to our country and all of my colleagues at DOT and the NTSB who have focused on our mission of safety.
Again, with deepest appreciation, thank you for the privilege to serve. May God Bless you and Mrs. Bush and may God Bless America.
Ellen Engleman Conners
NTSB Office of Public Affairs: (202) 314-6100
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged with determining the probable cause
of transportation accidents, promoting transportation safety, and assisting victims of transportation accidents and their families.