NHTSA Boss Leaving to Head California Air Resources Board

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
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nhtsa boss leaving to head california air resources board

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has had a difficult time finding permanent leadership ever since Mark Rosekind resigned in 2017. But the Senate managed to confirm Steven Cliff as administrator in May of 2022, providing the agency with some welcome but short-lived stability. The NHTSA announced that its current boss would be leaving to join the California Air Resources Board (CARB) on Friday. 

Though we should say he’s rejoining the board. Cliff worked as technical manager for the group’s greenhouse gas cap-and-trade policy after leaving college. He later served as chief of the GHG Market Development and Oversight Branch and assistant division chief of the Climate Program before moving over to the California Department of Transportation in 2014. But he later hooked back up with CARB to serve as a senior advisor to the chair and deputy executive officer. 

Now, after just a few months of heading the NHTSA, he will be going home once again. 

According to both Automotive News and the board itself, Cliff will formally become CARB’s executive officer on September 12th. Ann Carlson, NHTSA’s chief counsel, will reportedly take over Cliff’s duties after he leaves to helm the California regulator – though the agency declined to share any further details about the circumstances of the surprisingly early departure.

[Image: Bill Morson/Shutterstock]

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Matt Posky
Matt Posky

Consumer advocate tracking industry trends, regulation, and the bitter-sweet nature of modern automotive tech. Research focused and gut driven.

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  • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Aug 12, 2022

    I don't have a carb on any of my vehicles.

    • See 1 previous
    • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Aug 13, 2022

      Does throttle body injection count? (I really like the TBI system on my truck - it's 27 years old. It is simple and it works. Did I mention that it is 27 years old?)

  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Aug 13, 2022

    Why can't the NHTSA find or keep its leaders?

  • Drew8MR Drew8MR on Aug 13, 2022

    Why can't CARB leave hobbyists alone? Maybe lay off the low hanging fruit and go after the gross polluters. Bring back the rolling exemption.

    • Sgeffe Sgeffe on Aug 13, 2022

      Because you’ll ride your bicycle everywhere and like it! Dontchaknow!