The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has promoted industry veteran Sue Lawless to assistant administrator and chief safety officer.
Lawless, who most recently directed the agency’s Motor Carrier, Driver and Vehicle Standards Division, took over as its safety chief and executive director last week, the FMCSA announced. She replaces Jack Van Steenburg, a 15-year FMCSA veteran who announced his retirement this year.
As chief safety officer, Lawless will promote FMCSA’s safety mission, collaborating with federal, state and local governments and providing direction to all national commercial vehicle safety programs, according to the agency.
Lawless, a Southern Maryland native, is an attorney who worked at Semmes, Bowen and Semmes for five years, according to LinkedIn. In a statement, Administrator Robin Hutcheson called Lawless a “smart, savvy steadfast strategist who can hit the ground running on FMCSA’s priorities.”
“We are extremely fortunate to have Sue in this position at FMCSA,” Hutcheson said. “Her experience in the industry and her years of service at FMCSA will ensure the agency is well-positioned to continue its safety mission.”
Lawless joined FMCSA in 2001, then later transitioned to the private sector where she was a partner in a law firm representing motor carriers, motor carrier drivers and various transportation businesses, according to the agency.
She returned to the agency in 2010 and now has more than 20 years of private-sector and government experience.
Lawless has engaged with nearly every FMCSA program in her capacities as trial attorney, assistant chief council, division chief and director within the Office of Policy, according to the agency.