Jackie Gillan Presented with Distinguished Consumer Service Award

  • June 20, 2019
150 150 Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety


Contact: Allison Kennedy 202-408-1711, akennedy@saferoads.org

Jackie Gillan, President Emeritus of Advocates for Highway & Auto Safety, Presented with Distinguished Consumer Service Award by the Consumer Federation of America

Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (Advocates) is pleased to announce that Jackie Gillan, President Emeritus, is being recognized by the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) with the prestigious Esther Peterson Consumer Service Award.  Advocates applauds CFA for their decision to honor Ms. Gillan’s lifetime of service with this award which bears the name of one of America’s renowned consumer advocacy pioneers.

Thanks to Ms. Gillan’s more than 25-years of leadership at Advocates, today’s vehicles, motorists and roadways are immeasurably safer.  Her public policy and lobbying accomplishments have resulted in the successful enactment of numerous federal and state laws preventing motor vehicle crashes, saving lives and providing important consumer protections and information.  As a result of her leadership, lobbying skills and determination, cars today are equipped with lifesaving features as standard equipment such as airbags, better seat belts, rollover and ejection prevention technologies, tire pressure monitoring systems, side impact protection and rearview cameras.  Additionally, she has successfully advanced laws upgrading child passenger safety, requiring that government crash safety ratings be displayed on the window sticker of new cars, and improving truck and intercity bus safety.  Her work in state legislatures has led to the adoption of laws requiring the use of motorcycle helmets, seat belts and child safety seats, protecting novice teen drivers and imposing tougher penalties on drunk drivers.

Ms. Gillan joined the staff of Advocates in 1990 after helping to launch the organization and serving on the Board of Directors.  She served as President from 2011-2017.  Ms. Gillan was instrumental in leading Advocates to become one of the nation’s premier highway and auto safety organizations influencing federal, state and local transportation safety policies and laws.

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) presented the award to Ms. Gillan:

“Jackie is a legend in the public health and public safety community. She has spent her career fighting to make our transportation system safer for all Americans, and there’s no question that lives have been saved and injuries averted because of her work.”

Jack Gillis, Executive Director of CFA and Advocates’ Board Member, honored Ms. Gillan with the award:

“There are few people more deserving of CFA’s Esther Peterson Consumer Service Award than Jackie Gillian.  Her legislative prowess, knowledge of safety technology, and unrelenting persistence has saved lives.  Her success is due to an uncanny ability to bring disparate parties to consensus on thoughtful, effective, and life-saving public policy.  Few Americans have done more to advance highway and auto safety than Jackie Gillian.”

Cathy Chase, Advocates’ current President:

“Jackie is a force – not – to be reckoned with.  She is a masterful political strategist who can bob and weave her way through any obstacles she faces.  Everyone who uses our nation’s roadways is safer because of Jackie’s dogged determination and unparalleled advocacy skills.”

Lee Fanshaw, Advocates’ Insurance Co-Chair and Federal Government Affairs Director at American Family Insurance:

“Throughout Jackie’s career she has amassed an impressive record of legislative and regulatory accomplishments.   Her work to enact safety laws and standards have undoubtedly protected countless lives, prevented devastating injuries and saved associated costs due to motor vehicle crashes.” 

Janette Fennell, Advocates’ Consumer Co-Chair and Founder and President of KidsAndCars.org:

“You can always rely on Jackie to act on principle and stand up for what’s right.  Her compassion for the victims of preventable death and injury crashes is equaled only by her persistence and ability to implement successful lobbying campaigns.”

Joan Claybrook, Advocates’ Board Member, President Emeritus of Public Citizen, and former Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has worked with Ms. Gillan on highway and auto safety issues for four decades:

“Jackie embodies the qualities consumer advocates must possess to be successful, including a tenacious spirit and total commitment to public safety.  We began working together in 1977, and I soon learned how effective she could be at drumming up support for crucial highway and auto safety improvements from all corners of the political spectrum.  She’s a maestro of the legislative process.”

Prior to joining Advocates, Ms. Gillan worked in senior policy positions in the Office of the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation, the United States Senate, the Washington, D.C. office of the Governor of Ohio, and the California and New Jersey state transportation agencies.  She is a knowledgeable expert on numerous transportation public policy issues and has frequently appeared on PBS, NPR, CNN, CBS, ABC and NBC as well as countless local news programs, and is quoted often in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, USA Today, Politico and other publications across the country.

More information about the award and other honorees can be found here.