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Building on the strength of its Regulatory and Legislative practices, Venable announced last week that David Strickland, Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), will join the firm’s Washington, DC office as partner later this month. Strickland has served as NHTSA Administrator since 2010 overseeing a broad range of vehicle safety and policymaking programs including setting vehicle safety standards, investigating possible safety defects, tracking safety-related recalls; establishing and enforcing regulations on fuel economy; investigating odometer fraud and publishing vehicle theft data. He also spent eight years on the staff of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation as Senior Counsel.

News of Strickland’s upcoming move was featured in Bloomberg on January 13, 2014 and the Wall Street Journal on January 10, 2014.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Strickland spoke about leading negotiations with automakers on rules doubling the fuel economy mandate. “I would have thought it would be virtually impossible,” Strickland said. “We are already reaping benefits from that.” He also spoke about taking over NHTSA in the middle of the agency’s investigation of Toyota following a recall which led to nearly $70 million in fines. “When you are a brand new federal agency head, you have this whole game plan of what you are going to do. That was all wiped out immediately. My first four to six months was managing the Toyota crisis and the investigation,” he said.