Administrator Hutcheson leaving FMCSA Jan. 26; no reason given

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Updated Jan 23, 2024
Robin Hutcheson, FMCSA administrator
FMCSA Administrator Robin Hutcheson

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration today announced Administrator Robin Hutcheson is leaving the agency next week.

Hutcheson, who joined the current administration in January of 2021, departs the agency Friday, Jan. 26. No reason for Hutcheson's exit was given by the agency in a statement issued this morning.

Sue Lawless, FMCSA executive director, and chief safety officer, will serve as acting deputy administrator.

Hutcheson's departure follows the exit of Earl Adams, Jr., who was sworn in as deputy administrator of the FMCSA last February. Adams, who had served as FMCSA's chief counsel since 2021, returned to the law firm he worked at in the past. 

Trucking industry leaders have reacted to Hutcheson's announcement.

David Heller, senior vice president of safety and government affairs for the Truckload Carriers Association, said, "Administrator Hutcheson’s service to our industry provided us with a partnership at the federal level so that we could advance safety performance and principals in a manner that benefitted all who traveled along our nation’s roadways. The value she placed on industry involvement by engaging and communicating with our members continues to be viewed as the optimum approach towards understanding the enormity of the trucking business and the effects of rules and regulations that are placed on it.  On behalf of all the members of the Truckload Carriers Association, we wish Administrator Hutcheson the best of luck in her future endeavors."  

"We thank Administrator Hutcheson for her service to our nation and her efforts to keep America's roadways safe for truckers and all road users. We wish her well and look forward to working with the new leadership at FMCSA, said Todd Spencer, president of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association president.

American Trucking Association. President and CEO said, "Administrator Hutcheson led FMCSA through a critical time as the pandemic, natural disasters, workforce shortages and supply chain disruptions challenged the freight economy in ways never seen before. America’s trucking industry is the heartbeat of this nation, and we depend on partners in government like Administrator Hutcheson who value data and stakeholder input to meet real-world needs and ensure the safe movement of freight across our nation’s highways. We applaud her communication, transparency and commitment to ATA and our members, and we wish her well in her future endeavors.”

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Hutcheson ends her three-year tenure in the Biden-Harris Administration, serving first as the deputy assistant secretary for Safety Policy within the Office of the Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg and then as the administrator of the FMCSA. She was confirmed as administrator in September of 2022.  

Hutcheson replaced Meera Joshi, the original Biden-Harris Administration's choice to lead the FMCSA. Joshi left the FMCSA for a position in the office of New York City Mayor Eric Adams.

“It has been the most profound honor to serve in the Biden-Harris Administration, and I am grateful to President Biden for appointing me to these roles,” noted Hutcheson. “I thank Secretary Buttigieg for his leadership and confidence and recognize the dedicated team of professionals at the Department of Transportation who work hand in hand with industry partners to serve the American people and keep our country moving forward.”