- Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Chief Counsel Earl Adams Jr. was promoted and sworn in Monday as deputy administrator, the agency announced.
- Adams, who served as the regulator’s top attorney since January 2021, succeeds Administrator Robin Hutcheson in the job, overseeing a portfolio of the agency’s offices and initiatives.
- “Earl is a mission-driven leader and thinker who embodies the values of our agency and the entire Department of Transportation,” Administrator Robin Hutcheson said in a statement.
Adams, the agency’s lead on developing regulations for autonomous vehicles, traveled across the country to attend a trucking conference in San Diego in the fall.
He joined an FMCSA contingent that also included Hutcheson, FMCSA Executive Director Jack Van Steenburg, and Director of External Affairs Kala Wright, on a panel at the American Trucking Associations’ Management Conference & Exhibition in October.
During a Q&A session, Adams said the agency is planning expeditious rulemaking to provide federal guardrails for AVs in trucking.
“We've been taking the time to one, understand it, [and] to two, go out and talk to and learn from the industry meetings with developers or with OEMs, fleet operators, all so we can begin to craft an approach,” he told an audience of trucking executives.
In her statement, Hutcheson said Adams’ experience, intellect and people skills “are exactly what the role of Deputy Administrator calls for.”
“I look forward to continuing to work with Earl on policies, initiatives, data-based strategies to prevent crashes, improve safety outcomes on our roadways, and ultimately achieve our goal of zero fatalities,” the agency head said.
As chief counsel, Adams oversaw the development, issuance, interpretation, enforcement and defense of the FMCSA regulations before state and federal courts.
A former managing partner at Saul Ewing, where he worked for five years before joining the FMCSA, Adams’ previous roles also include chairman of the board of directors of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority and chief of staff for the lieutenant governor of Maryland, according to his LinkedIn profile.