On Aug. 13, Jennifer L. Homendy was sworn in as NTSB’s 15th Chair after being nominated on May 20 by President Biden and confirmed by the Senate on August 9. Before becoming Chair, Homendy first joined NTSB as its 44th Board member on Aug. 20, 2018. She was unanimously reconfirmed by the Senate on August 1, 2019, for a five-year term expiring December 31, 2024.
Chair Homendy is a tireless advocate for safety and brings to the Board expertise in the safety of railroads, pipelines, and hazardous materials (on all modes of transportation). From 2004 to 2018, she served as the Democratic Staff Director of the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials, which is under the jurisdiction of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I Committee) of the United States House of Representatives. She previously held positions with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the Transportation Trades Department of the AFL-CIO, and the American Iron and Steel Institute. During her tenure as Subcommittee Staff Director, Chair Homendy guided major pieces of rail, pipeline, and hazardous materials safety legislation through the legislative process, including: the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient, Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU); the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-432, Division A); the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-432, Division B); the Pipeline, Inspection, Protection, Enforcement, and Safety Act of 2006; the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act of 2011; the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act of 2015; the Protecting Our Infrastructure of Pipelines Enhancing Safety (PIPES) Act of 2016; and the Norman Y. Mineta Research and Special Programs Improvement Act of 2004, which created the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), an agency charged with overseeing the safety of our nation’s pipelines and hazardous materials transportation within the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).
Throughout her tenure on the T&I Committee, she was an unwavering defender of transportation safety and worked to implement numerous safety recommendations proposed by the NTSB, including the installation of excess flow valves in distribution pipelines and implementation of positive train control (PTC). In 2010, she spearheaded the T&I Committee’s extensive oversight investigations of the Enbridge pipeline rupture in Marshall, Michigan, and PHMSA, which led to major safety improvements in pipeline and hazardous materials safety. In 2017 and 2018, she led a multimodal review of DOT’s drug and alcohol testing program that identified significant safety gaps in the program.
Chair Homendy is a graduate of the Pennsylvania State University and has been certified by the National Board of Fire Service Professional Qualifications (Pro Board) on Core HazMat Operations and Missions-Specific PPE and Product Control (hazmat operations level training). She completed Private Pilot Ground School and holds a motorcycle (M2) endorsement. She is also an avid runner and cyclist, which fuels her advocacy work for strengthening safety for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists.