Senate to Consider NTSB Nominations

J. Todd Inman, Alvin Brown Are Candidates for Seats at Safety Agency
J. Todd Inman (left), Alvin Brown
J. Todd Inman (left) and Alvin Brown are shown during their confirmation hearings. (Senate Commerce Committee)

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Votes on the confirmation of two nominees to join the National Transportation Safety Board are on the Senate’s radar.

After committee approval, NTSB nominees J. Todd Inman and Alvin Brown await a vote in the Senate. With senators returning to Washington for legislative business this month, scheduling votes on high-profile nominees will be a priority for the chamber’s majority leader. Inman, formerly a senior U.S. Department of Transportation official, received committee approval last month.

During the confirmation process, Inman told senators the independent safety agency’s agenda must focus on systems linked to automation and wireless capabilities. An evolving transportation landscape meant to improve connectivity also must prioritize safety by stakeholders. If confirmed, Inman would serve on the board through 2027.

“Automation is on the rise in various modes of transportation,” Inman told the Commerce Committee. “As this trend continues, the NTSB will need to deepen its understanding of the role of automation while still examining the human factors that contribute to transportation accidents and safety.”


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Inman’s career includes a tenure as secretary of Florida’s Department of Management Services.

“Beyond being responsible for the safety of Florida state workers in over 12 million square feet of office space, I signed and began implementation of the most comprehensive update ever procured to the state law enforcement radio system — this is the system that first responders rely upon to do their important safety work,” he told senators in recounting career highlights. “I also led two of the national response framework divisions for emergency services which handled communications and logistics.”

Committee Chairwoman Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) led the nominee’s approval process. She also pointed to existing needs at NTSB.

“Additional resources are needed to prepare for our current and future transportation safety challenges,” she observed.

Ted Cruz


Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), the committee’s ranking member, spoke favorably of the nominee.

“Mr. Inman knows how to lead a major organization, having recently served as Florida’s secretary of management services, where he administered a $1 billion budget and led a 1,000-person workforce. I strongly urge my colleagues to support Mr. Inman’s nomination to this important safety position.”

Brown gained committee approval in July. If confirmed, the former mayor of Jacksonville, Fla., would serve on the independent agency through 2026.

Sen. Maria Cantwell


Responding to senators about NTSB’s investigation into last year’s freight train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, Brown affirmed, “When appropriate, the NTSB should conduct more field hearings and possibly look for other opportunities to engage impacted communities during the investigative process when field hearings are not feasible. The field hearing in East Palestine shows that it is important to be transparent and engage with communities.”

Cantwell strongly supports Brown’s nomination.

“The NTSB board needs hardworking, dedicated individuals who put safety as the top priority,” she said, “and I believe Mayor Brown would do so on behalf of the American people.”

The former mayor also is highly touted by the Biden administration.

“Under his leadership, Jacksonville became one of America’s leading cities for innovation and improving quality of life. Brown achieved numerous successes in Jacksonville with bold and collaborative approaches to many modern challenges,” according to the White House.

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