Bios: Expert Panel on Autonomous Vehicle Safety March 7, 2023

  • March 3, 2023
150 150 Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety

Virtual Capitol Hill Briefing: Expert Panel on Autonomous Vehicle Safety | March 7, 2023

Panel speakers in alphabetical order

Anna Buhlinger, Federal Affairs Director, National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC)

Ms. Buhlinger joined NAMIC in November after serving at the American Land Title Association (ALTA) where she worked with members of the House and Senate on issues including combatting wire fraud in real estate and technological innovation. She also assisted with regulatory efforts with federal agencies and helped lead numerous internal committees, including the Native American Lands Workgroup. Prior to ALTA, she spent time at Capitol Hill Consulting Group focused on the energy and environment, trade and native affairs portfolios. Ms. Buhlinger graduated from the University of Kansas with a B.G.S. in Political Science and Communication Studies with minors in Public Policy and Psychology.

Catherine Chase, President, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety

At Advocates, Cathy Chase plays a critical role in advancing occupant protection, impaired driving, teen driving, distracted driving, motor vehicle and commercial motor vehicle safety, and automated driving system safety. Frequently invited to speak before Congress, state legislatures and national conferences, she was selected by CQ Roll Call as one of 17 “People to Watch in 2019.” Ms. Chase is featured regularly in the press as an auto and highway safety expert. She is a graduate of Rutgers College and received her J.D. from the George Washington University Law School.

Joan Claybrook, former Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Ms. Claybrook has devoted decades of her career advocating for the development and implementation of technology to improve public safety and the environment.  She was President of Public Citizen from 1982 until 2009. From 1977 to 1981, she was Administrator of NHTSA during which time the agency issued the first-ever fuel economy rules, tire safety standards, and requirements for air bags. In addition, Ms. Claybrook created an original consumer information program, the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP), which has been copied around the world. Earlier, she served as special assistant to the first NHTSA Administrator. She was co-founder and director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch, and served at the national Public Interest Research Group and The Congress Project under the leadership of Ralph Nader. Ms. Claybrook is a member of the Board of Public Citizen; Public Justice; Advocates For Highway and Auto Safety; and Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways. She was a member of the Georgetown University Law Center Advisory Board from 1992 to 2021. She holds a B.A. in History from Goucher College and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.

Dr. Mary (Missy) Cummings, Professor, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Computer Science Departments, College of Engineering and Computing, George Mason University

Dr. Cummings is an American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Fellow, and recently served as the senior safety advisor to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Dr. Cummings received her BS in Mathematics from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1988, her MS in Space Systems Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School in 1994, and her PhD in Systems Engineering from the University of Virginia in 2004. A naval officer and military pilot from 1988-1999, she was one of the U.S. Navy’s first female fighter pilots. Her research interests include the application of artificial intelligence in safety-critical systems, assured autonomy, human-systems engineering, and the ethical and social impact of technology.

Julia Friedlander, Senior Manager, Automated Driving Policy, Streets Division, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA).

Ms. Friedlander is a public servant whose career in public policy, management and law in New York City and San Francisco has centered on periods of transformational change, including the HIV public health crisis, restructuring of the telecommunications market and emergence of high-speed internet, the LGBT civil rights and marriage equality movements, and restructuring of transportation governance in San Francisco to support multi-modal use of public rights-of-way. She served as SFMTA’s General Counsel for 11 years and, after a four-year sojourn outside the transportation arena, returned to the Agency in 2018, wearing a policy hat, to focus on federal, state and local policy related to the future of automated driving.

Dr. David Harkey, President, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the Highway Loss Data Institute.

Before taking the helm at IIHS-HLDI in 2018, Dr. Harkey led the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center for 11 years. There he directed numerous projects to improve roadway design and operations, and develop tools for enhanced safety analysis and improved data collection. Dr. Harkey received a doctorate in civil engineering from North Carolina State University and a master’s degree and bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Greg Regan, President, Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO

Mr. Regan is President of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO, a labor organization consisting of 37 unions that together represent workers in all areas of transportation. TTD focuses on federal legislation, regulatory matters, and policy issues that impact transportation workers. In his current position, Greg leads and oversees TTD’s daily operation and serves as the organization’s spokesperson and chief strategist. Greg formerly served as TTD’s Secretary-Treasurer and Senior Legislative Representative, overseeing TTD’s work in aviation, passenger rail, and procurement. Originally from Rochester, New York, Greg holds a B.A. in Public Policy from Hamilton College.

Carol Tyson, Government Affairs Liaison, Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund (DREDF)

Carol Tyson joined DREDF in 2017 and is a policy, legislative and industry analyst, researcher, social justice, civil and disability rights, and self-advocate. Before joining DREDF, Tyson was Director of Disability Policy for United Spinal Association, serving on numerous advisory committees to eliminate barriers to transportation and bicycle and pedestrian safety. Before then, Tyson was a researcher in the labor movement in the U.S. and Australia; and is the recipient of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Dr. Rosalyn Simon Award in recognition of advancing the field of accessible transportation through education, training and advocacy.