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FMCSA Administrator Robin Hutcheson to resign

Agency confirms last day will be Jan. 26

Hutcheson was FMCSA's 7th Administrator. (Photo: John Gallagher/FreightWaves)
Robin Hutcheson. (Credit: FMCSA)

Robin Hutcheson is resigning from her post as head of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, a U.S. Department of Transportation source confirmed to FreightWaves on Thursday.

Her last day at the agency will be Jan. 26. No reason was given as to why she is leaving.

Sue Lawless, FMCSA’s assistant administrator, will head the agency in an acting administrator role after Hutcheson’s departure. Lawless also serves as the agency’s executive director and chief safety officer.

In a statement released by FMCSA on Friday, Hutcheson said it has been a “profound honor” to serve under the Biden-Harris administration.

“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.”

Hutcheson, who was confirmed in September 2022, was FMCSA’s seventh administrator since the agency was established in 2000.

Her predecessors — Jim Mullen, Wylie Deck and Meera Joshi — led the agency in acting roles since Ray Martinez resigned in 2019.

Hutcheson was criticized by lawmakers during a hearing on Capitol Hill last month for taking part in a fundraiser while a proposed regulation that would limit truck speeds was — and still is — pending. The fundraiser was allegedly sponsored by “labor unions and trial attorneys” that are supporters of the controversial rule.

Hutcheson denied that the credibility of the rulemaking was damaged, noting that “we take very seriously the fidelity of the process of rulemaking, and we don’t discuss the contents of the rule even as we’re engaging with our stakeholders.”

At a Capitol Hill hearing on Wednesday, FMCSA came under fire again — from the Transportation Intermediaries Association — for paying too much attention to non-safety issues such as private contracts between brokers and trucking companies.

Hutcheson previously served as deputy assistant secretary for safety policy for DOT under the Biden administration.

She led the development of the National Roadway Safety Strategy, which DOT unveiled in January 2022. She also helped secure $13 billion in additional funding for safety programs and initiatives included in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law signed in 2021.

“As FMCSA Administrator, Hutcheson focused on the safety of commercial motor vehicle drivers to improve safety outcomes and strengthen the supply chain,” FMCSA noted regarding Hutcheson’s departure.

“She took numerous regulatory actions to enhance roadway safety, improve quality of life for drivers, leverage technology and innovation to improve safety, increase the impact of FMCSA grant dollars in communities across the country, and promote transparency across the industry.”  

Click for more FreightWaves articles by John Gallagher.


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John Gallagher

Based in Washington, D.C., John specializes in regulation and legislation affecting all sectors of freight transportation. He has covered rail, trucking and maritime issues since 1993 for a variety of publications based in the U.S. and the U.K. John began business reporting in 1993 at Broadcasting & Cable Magazine. He graduated from Florida State University majoring in English and business.