David L. Strickland

Strickland David

David Strickland is a legislative and government affairs attorney who focuses on transportation infrastructure and policy, consumer protection, Internet privacy, and data security. David assists clients with legislative developments and agency investigations. He has extensive experience with automotive vehicle innovation and serves as counsel to the Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets. David was the fourteenth administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) before joining Venable. He also chaired the Federal Interagency Committee for Emergency Medical Services (FICEMS) and served as senior counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. 

David developed the first national fuel economy programs for both passenger vehicles and heavy-duty trucks in conjunction with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as NHTSA administrator. He implemented important vehicle safety and highway safety grant mandates in the 2012 Highway Reauthorization (MAP-21), rolled out key lap and shoulder belt requirements for new motor coaches, and launched the nation's largest connected vehicle (V2V) safety pilot program. He also issued the agency’s first-ever ejection mitigation passenger vehicle standards, and advisory policies on autonomous vehicles and autonomous driving. David brought national attention to child passenger safety issues, and presided over the NHTSA's campaigns to curb impaired and distracted driving.

David served as Democratic senior counsel on the staff of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. He had a key role in drafting and negotiating provisions of the Do Not Call Registry, U.S. Safe Web Act, the highway safety/NHTSA title of the 2005 Highway Reauthorization (SAFETEA-LU), and the Consumer Product Safety Commission's (CPSIA) reauthorization in 2008. He was also fully involved in the Energy Independence and Security Act's (EISA) 2007 passenger vehicle and heavy-duty fuel economy mandates. He spearheaded the panel’s inquiries into the 2002 Enron Investigation, 2004 Olympics-BALCO steroids investigation, and the 2004 Abramoff-Indian Gaming investigation.


Government Experience

  • Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • Chairman, Federal Interagency Committee for Emergency Medical Services (FICEMS)
  • Senior Counsel, U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation




  • J.D. Harvard Law School 1993
  • Articles Editor, Harvard Civil Rights – Civil Liberties Law Review

  • B.S. with honors Northwestern University 1990

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland

Professional Memberships and Activities

  • Counsel, Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets
  • Chairman, board of directors, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)
  • Chairman, board of directors, Safekids Worldwide
  • Certified child passenger safety technician


  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America (Woodward/White, Inc.), 2019
  • Recognized in Chambers USA for Transportation: Road - Carriage/Commercial, 2018
  • Recognized by the Association for Safe International Road Travel (ASIRT) as ASIRT Road Safety Champion, 2016
  • Recognized in Legal 500, Technology: Data Protection and Privacy, 2015, 2018
  • Former honorary chairman, Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving (MADD), 2010 - 2014
  • Congressional Staffer of the Year, MADD, 2004