WASHINGTON — The Senate confirmed Robin Hutcheson on Thursday, Sept. 22, to lead the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) as the agency’s administrator.
Hutcheson’s background includes transportation administration at the local level. She previously served as the transportation director for Salt Lake City and the director of public works for Minneapolis.
Hutcheson will serve as the agency first permanent administrator since Ray Martinez stepped down in October 2019. Since then, the agency has been directed by Jim Mullen, Wiley Deck, Meera Joshi and Hutcheson – all in an acting administrator capacity.
Trucking organizations lauded Hutcheson’s confirmation.
“OOIDA (Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association) has quickly developed a valued relationship with Ms. Hutcheson since her appointment as acting administrator in January,” OOIDA President Todd Spencer said. “Under her leadership, we are hopeful these discussions will result in solutions to longstanding problems within the industry such as parking, predatory leasing agreements, excessive detention time, and inadequate compensation among others. If the agency prioritizes issues like these in a cooperative manner with professional drivers, the trucking profession will become more appealing to all.”
Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) President Jim Ward hailed the confirmation as “a tremendous step for the industry.”
“Speaking on behalf of the association, I am pleased to see this confirmation come to fruition,” Ward said. “In the short time that she has been there, the Administrator has demonstrated a passion for safety improvement and a willingness to engage with the industry. We are looking forward to working with her on truckload related safety measures in the future.”
The confirmation comes on the heels of TCA’s Call on Washington program, in which association leadership had the pleasure of meeting with the now Administrator and her staff.
TCA Chairman John Elliott, CEO of Load One, LLC based in Taylor, Michigan, commented, “We had the pleasure of meeting with Administrator Hutcheson in Washington, D.C., at Department of Transportation headquarters and were thrilled with the positive working partnership that is certain to continue under her leadership. I am confident that the industry, in collaboration with Robin and her staff, will work together towards making interstate travel a safer environment for everyone on the road.”
American Trucking Association’s (ATA) President and CEO Chris Spear offered his congratulations to Hutcheson.
“In her time as acting administrator, Robin has been a true partner with our industry — working to confront a number of issues facing trucking,” Spear said. “Whether it is addressing safety concerns, ongoing supply chain issues or workforce development, she has been open to engaging with our industry and we look forward to continuing our ongoing, candid dialogue about these challenges and to engaging with her and her agency to implement solutions that uphold safety and improve efficiency in trucking and across the supply chain.”
The Intermodal Association of North America (IANA) also commended the Senate’s vote to approve Hutcheson’s nomination.
“IANA welcomes the news of Administrator Hutcheson’s confirmation by unanimous consent. The Association has developed a decades-long working relationship with the FMCSA, and we look forward to our continuing collaboration in the areas of safety, data-sharing and industry-compliance tools,” Joni Casey, president and CEO of IANA.
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.