The non-profit Center for Auto Safety has appointed Jason K. Levine as its new executive director.
Levine succeeds the late Clarence M. Ditlow III, who headed the organization for 40 years. Ditlow died from cancer last November.
Levine, a consumer protection attorney, has held leadership positions in three federal agencies, including chief of staff at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and director of the Office of Congressional, Legislative, and Intergovernmental Affairs at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.
Levine spent almost six years at the CPSC during the Obama administration, including four as chief counsel to Commissioner Robert Adler. He previously served in the same position at the Federal Election Commission for Commissioner Ellen Weintraub, and later served in an advisory capacity to the Assistant Secretary for Aging, Kathy Greenlee, at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He joined OPM in August 2015 to lead the agency’s response to Congress in the midst of the cyber incidents involving federal employee data.
The organization has championed state lemon laws, airbags, and recall repairs made at no cost to consumers.
Consumer advocate Ralph Nader, who founded the Center for Auto Safety with Consumers Union in 1970, called Levine “an accomplished former public servant” who “should assure a productive continuity for the Center’s critical missions.”
Levine joins at a time when the Trump administration is seeking to roll back regulations, auto fatalities are rising, and autonomous cars are on the horizon.
In prepared remarks, Levine vowed to continue advocating for consumers and auto safety.
“Despite rising auto fatalities, and new recalls coming almost daily, the current administration has shown no interest in meeting its statutory duty and moral responsibility to enforce safety laws on behalf of drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. American consumers expect their government to prevent the false advertising of used cars and protect the environment from auto pollution. Yet, the only momentum we see in Washington is a regulatory rollback that too many in the auto industry are aiding and abetting. The Center’s role as the eyes, ears, and voice of the consumer is more important than ever,” he said.
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