Melody Drummond Hansen named FMCSA's new chief counsel

Updated Jul 17, 2024
Melody Drummond Hansen
Melody Drummond Hansen

Screenshot 2024 07 10 At 11 50 24 AmThe Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration today announced Melody Drummond Hansen has been appointed the agency’s new chief counsel.

In this role, Drummond Hansen will work closely with and advise the FMCSA acting administrator and senior staff on all aspects of legal policy for agency programs. She will lead a team of more than 50 attorneys responsible for providing legal support on regulatory and legislative affairs, adjudications, enforcement and litigation, procurement and grants, ethics, and employment matters.

FMCSA said Drummond Hansen brings a decade of experience advising clients across the automotive and transportation industry and 20 years of experience in emerging technologies. 

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“Melody is a great addition to the FMCSA leadership team,” said FMCSA Acting Administrator Vinn White. “This is an exciting time for the agency, and I have no doubt that Melody’s dedication and proven track record in transportation and technology will help advance FMCSA’s mission and improve safety for everyone traveling the nation’s roadways.”

Before joining FMCSA, Drummond Hansen was a partner at BakerHostetler LLP, where she was a co-chair of the Automotive/Mobility industry team and a member of the Intellectual Property Group. She advised clients on a range of transportation and technology matters, including automated and connected vehicles, avionics, fleet management, electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles, telecommunications standards, data privacy and security, digital infrastructure, and artificial intelligence.

Drummond Hansen is originally from South Carolina. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Georgetown University, a Master of Science from the University of Oxford, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Chicago Law School.

This is the latest appointment to the agency's senior staff. Vinn White was recently named deputy administrator. He succeeded Sue Lawless, who filled the position of acting deputy administrator in late January after then-administrator Robin Hutcheson resigned. Lawless remains with the agency.