WASHINGTON (January 12, 2022) -- National Transportation Safety Board Chair Jennifer Homendy named her top leadership team Wednesday, including Dana Schulze as managing director of the agency.
Schulze will assist the chair with day-to-day operations of the agency, which has 400 employees and a budget of $118 million. Also tapped Wednesday was Dolline Hatchett as principal deputy managing director for management and operations; Tim LeBaron as head of aviation safety; Joe Sedor as chief technical advisor for space and advanced aerospace transportation investigations; and Erik Strickland as executive officer.
“These tested leaders bring a wealth of talent and energy to our small but vital agency," Homendy said. “While they come from different backgrounds and areas of expertise, all are committed to upholding the values of the NTSB today and working to ensure we are ready to meet the safety challenges of tomorrow."
From left to right, Dana Schulze, NTSB Managing Director; Dolline Hatchett, Principal Deputy Managing Director for Management and Operations; Tim LeBaron, Director of Aviation Safety. Photo credit: NTSB
Schulze had been director of the Office of Aviation Safety, where she began her NTSB career as an aircraft system safety engineer and worked on major domestic and international airline accident investigations, including Alaska Airlines flight 261, Pinnacle Airlines flight 3701 and American Airlines flight 587. Schulze later became chief of the aviation engineering division, responsible for investigating the airworthiness of aircraft involved in major aviation accidents and serious incidents. Schulze later served as the chief of the major investigations division where she oversaw more than a dozen major airline accident investigations, including the investigation of US Airways flight 1549 in Weehawken, New Jersey and Colgan Air flight 3407 in Clarence Center, New York.
Before joining the NTSB, Schulze worked in the private commercial aerospace industry. She earned her B.S. in space sciences and mechanical engineering from the Florida Institute of Technology and an M.S. in mechanical engineering from the State University of New York.
Hatchett was formerly director of the Office of Safety Recommendations and Communications, where she led a multidisciplinary team responsible for shaping and promoting how the agency responds and coordinates with Congress, the media and the public. She was charged with issuing multi-modal safety recommendations for aviation, marine, highway, rail, pipeline and hazardous materials. From 2018-2019, Hatchett oversaw the agency's Transportation Disaster Assistance Division, which coordinates assistance for those families impacted by transportation disasters with local, state, federal and non-governmental agencies, and transportation operators.
Hatchett has an extensive background serving in senior-level positions at the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Energy, and as vice president of communications at the Export-Import Bank of the U.S. She graduated cum laude from Norfolk State University, where she earned a B.S. in Mass Communications. She is a graduate of the Defense Information School, the Federal Executive Institute and the American University's DHS Capstone Program for senior executives.
LeBaron will serve as the director of the NTSB's Office of Aviation Safety, the nation's top aviation investigator. LeBaron worked his way up from an NTSB intern in 2003 and over the years has led more than 300 airplane crash investigations across the country and globe, including in Afghanistan, Russia, Japan, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.
Before joining the NTSB, LeBaron worked as an aircraft mechanic responsible for aircraft used in general aviation, on-demand and scheduled charter operations. He has also worked as an airport manager and as an assistant professor at Vincennes University in Indiana, where he lectured and provided hands-on training of future aviation maintenance technicians.
LeBaron is an airplane owner and pilot who holds a commercial pilot certificate for single-engine land, single-engine sea, multi-engine land and an instrument rating, as well as an airframe and powerplant technician certificate with inspection authorization. He holds an A.S. in Aviation Maintenance Technology from Vincennes University, a B.A. in aeronautical technology from Purdue University and an M.A. in aeronautical science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
Sedor will serve as the chief technical adviser to the Office of Aviation Safety and the NTSB board on all matters concerning space transportation and advanced aerospace transportation technologies systems and operations, which may include unmanned aircraft systems, fully autonomous air vehicles, or nascent and complex experimental aircraft designs. Sedor will work closely with the newly renamed Air Carrier and Space Investigation Division of the Office of Aviation Safety. Prior to assuming this new position, Sedor supervised all major air carrier and space investigations, including the investigation into the crash of Virgin Galactic's SpaceShip Two in 2014. He also managed the interagency agreement between the agency and NASA to support the Commercial Crew Program and initial test launches. In addition, Sedor was responsible for managing the agency's unmanned aviation systems program, which uses new drone technology to assist in aviation crash investigations.
Before coming to the NTSB, Sedor was a flight test engineer/pilot with the Cessna Aircraft Company where he worked primarily on the development and certification of the Citation X business jet. Sedor holds a B.A. in aerospace engineering from the University of Michigan and a M.S. in Engineering from the University of Tennessee.
Joe Sedor, left, is the NTSB's Chief Technical Advisor for Space and Advanced Aeropspace Transportation Investigations. Erik Strickland is the NTSB's Executive Officer. Photo credit: NTSB
Strickland will serve as the agency's executive officer, where he will serve as key adviser to the chair on policies, programs and operations. Strickland has more than 20 years of transportation safety experience. Strickland began his career with Mothers Against Drunk Driving, working with states to implement legislation to prevent impaired driving and underage drinking. He spent nearly a decade with the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility before becoming director of federal relations for the Governors Highway Safety Association in 2014 and then joining the NTSB as a transportation safety specialist in 2016. He earned a B.A. from the University of Montana and an M.A. in Emergency and Disaster Management from Georgetown University and served as a firefighter and emergency medical technician in Falls Church, Virginia for more than a decade.
To report an incident/accident or if you are a public safety agency, please call 1-844-373-9922 or 202-314-6290 to speak to a Watch Officer at the NTSB Response Operations Center (ROC) in Washington, DC (24/7).