Public Citizen president Joan Claybrook has announced she will be stepping down, effective Jan. 31, 2009, after 27 years at the helm of the public interest organization. The group is conducting a nationwide search for a new president.
Claybrook was previously head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) during the Carter administration.
“I am proud that Public Citizen under my leadership has played such a significant role in Congress, in government agencies and in the courts to protect the public health, safety and democracy for everyone in the U. S.,” Claybrook said. “In the past 27 years, we have helped pass significant laws benefiting consumers, opened access to government information, enhanced congressional ethics and campaign reform, as well as stopped some of industry’s most egregious efforts to rollback public protections.”
Claybrook pointed to automotive safety advances under her tenure that included airbags becoming standard equipment in all U.S. motor vehicle and more stringest vehicle safety standards that improved tire safety, prevented rollovers, upgraded roof strength and mitigated ejections. She also noted the group’s effort to help prevent the expansion of triple-trailer trucks.
“I have led Public Citizen through many tumultuous times in our nation since 1982 and am leaving it now a strong and vibrant organization with a budget many times larger than I found it,” she added. “I am so grateful to our many members and generous foundations that have supported and enhanced our work.”