WASHINGTON (Aug. 22, 2008) — David Kelly will serve as acting administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the White House announced late Aug. 21.
Mr. Kelly has been chief of staff to Administrator Nicole Nason, who left the agency, apparently for a private sector lobbying position. Her departure has never been formally announced.
She had said a year ago that she intended to serve until the end of the Bush administration next January, but word of her departure leaked out last month.
Thursday was her last day, industry sources said.
Some also expressed surprise that Mr. Kelly was named acting chief over Deputy Administrator Jim Ports.
Major decisions are pending in the final months of the administration—mainly completion of new fuel economy standards for the 2011-15 model years and final adoption of a new vehicle roof strength standard.
A call to Mr. Kelly´s phone late Aug. 21 went unanswered. A NHTSA spokeswoman declined comment.