Robert J. Chipkevich
Bob Chipkevich served as the National Transportation Safety Board’s Director of
Railroad, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Investigations in Washington, D.C.
for 9 years until he retired in 2010. He worked for NTSB for more than 25 years
and has more than 35 years of work experience in transportation safety. He
headed the NTSB railroad accident investigation program since 2000, the pipeline
accident investigation program since 1995, and the hazardous materials program
Mr. Chipkevich testified before Congress more than a dozen times on accident
investigations and transportation safety issues. As a result of his work with
Congress, many safety improvements have been written into legislation and
enacted into law. He served on the Board of Inquiry for NTSB accident
investigations across all modes, accepting testimony from witnesses and
determining factual information necessary to determine the cause of accidents
and documentation needed to address safety issues. He also worked with leaders
in Canada, Europe and Asia to address transportation safety issues.
Mr. Chipkevich has considerable knowledge and experience in railroad safety,
including freight and passenger trains operations; rail transit systems; highway
safety; pipeline safety; and hazardous materials transportation safety. As the
director for accident investigations, Mr. Chipkevich assessed hundreds of
railroad, pipeline and hazardous materials accidents each year and launched
investigation teams to the most serious accidents. He served as the on-scene
investigator-in-charge of railroad, pipeline, highway, and hazardous materials
accidents, and served as a technical specialist on aviation and marine accident
Before joining NTSB, Mr. Chipkevich worked for the Federal Highway
Administration in Boise, Idaho. He conducted safety audits of motor carriers and
hazardous materials shippers in the northwestern United States and Alaska;
reconstructed highway accidents involving commercial motor vehicles; implemented
a program to sample and analyze waste streams at hazardous waste sites; and
helped to establish a state motor carrier safety enforcement program in Idaho.
Mr. Chipkevich began his career in transportation safety at the Tennessee Public
Service Commission in Nashville as Assistant Director of the Motor Carrier
Division. He oversaw the State of Tennessee’s commercial motor carrier safety
and hazardous materials enforcement programs.
Mr. Chipkevich is a graduate of the University of Tennessee. He has served on
numerous transportation safety committees and panels including the National
Research Council’s Transportation Research Board, the Railroad Safety Advisory
Committee, the National Association of State Fire Marshals Pipeline Safety
Committee, the Flight Safety Foundation, the American Lifelines Alliance, the
Dangerous Goods Panel of Experts – VOLPE, and the Association of American
Railroads’ Tank Car Committee.
Claude Harris was a Senior Executive for the U.S. Dept. of Transportation (NHTSA) since 2001. He recently served as Director, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance (OVSC) responsible for assuring all passenger vehicles sold in the U.S. meet all applicable federal auto safety and fuel economy standards. Each year OVSC tested over 100 vehicles and 2000 auto equipment items to assure compliance, and when violations were noted initiated action requiring vehicle manufacturers to recall and correct safety problems. It collected on an average $25 million/yr. in civil penalties from vehicle manufacturers not meeting fuel economy standards.
In 2009, he provided management oversight of the NHTSA Clash for Clunkers program providing rebates for 700,000 vehicles; In 2011 served as the NHTSA Acting Associate Administrator for Enforcement responsible for managing all auto safety recalls conducted in the U.S.; in 2014 he served as the NHTSA Acting Associate Administrator for Rulemaking managing the completion and publication of all NHTSA federal auto safety regulations. He developed expertise in vehicle crash testing, fuel economy standards, auto safety standards, emerging vehicle technology, and retired from NHTSA in June 2014.
Before joining NHTSA, Claude served as investigator-in-charge and eventually becoming Director for the Office of Highway Safety at the National Transportation Safety Board. He investigated numerous highway, railroad, and bridge collapse accidents to determine probable cause and make safety improvement recommendations. He personally drafted numerous final investigation reports that were adopted by the Safety Board, and became a national expert in highway safety issues.
Before joining the Safety Board he served as a design engineer for the Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, Michigan, where he designed rear suspensions for luxury car lines, oversaw product testing and certification, and addressed production problems during new vehicle assembly.
Claude obtained a BSME at Howard University, an MBA from Cornell University, graduated from the Executive Development program at George Washington University, and is currently a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers.
Ian is a transportation consultant, with a focus primarily on rail safety. He has 28 years’ experience in the transportation safety area. Between 1998 and 2009 he was Director of Rail and Pipeline Investigations at the Transportation Safety Board of Canada. During that time he was directly accountable for 180 Board investigations.
Ian’s most significant recent work has been the provision of consulting services to the Saudi Railways Commission. The major tasks consisted of leading independent investigations into two major accidents. The outcome resulted in 11 wide-ranging recommendations to enhance rail safety in the Kingdom. Other related work for the SRC involved safety management, safety certification, on-site auditing of two main line railway companies, planning a national accident investigation function.
Other recent consulting work has been for clients in Canada, Ireland, South Africa and the USA has related to accident investigation, safety regulation, risk management and safety management systems.
Ian graduated from the University of London in 1969 in London, UK, with an honors bachelors degree in civil engineering and in 1971 he received a postgraduate degree in transportation engineering at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, NB. In 1982 he received his Masters in Business Administration from the Ivey Business School at Western University in London Ontario. He is a registered professional engineer and is based in Ottawa, Canada and a European Rail Agency Independent Designated Expert.
Edward (Ed) Belkin is a leading crisis communications and public affairs expert with extensive experience providing strategic counsel to Fortune 500 CEOs and high-level government officials. He also coaches senior-level executives and government officials for effective news media interviews, Congressional testimony, and public speaking engagements.
His management experience includes serving at the broadcast network news and local station levels, in government, at global public relations agencies, and at major trade associations.
As a Senior Vice President at strategic communications firms including Hill & Knowlton, Mr. Belkin worked with EgyptAir following the Flight 990 crash, Boeing during the McDonnell Douglas M&A, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines throughout a “poison pill” dispute, the Government of Ontario, Canada during the SARS outbreak, and the International Olympic Committee in the aftermath of the Salt Lake City scandal.
As Vice President of Communications & Public Affairs at the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), Mr. Belkin helped advance the industry’s advocacy efforts and strengthened strategic relationships with key stakeholders.
Mr. Belkin previously served as Senior Director of Communications for U.S. Senator David Durenberger of Minnesota, providing counsel on high-profile public policy issues.
As Managing Editor at the NBC Radio Network in New York and Washington, D.C., Mr. Belkin directed national and international news operations. He was architect of the network’s Custom Affiliate News Service that provided affiliates with tailored coverage of major breaking news events. Mr. Belkin planned the network’s around-the-clock live coverage of the first Persian Gulf War. He also produced live coverage of space shuttle launches at Cape Canaveral. Mr. Belkin previously served as Executive Editor and News Director at KYW Newsradio in Philadelphia and produced the station’s award-winning coverage of the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island and the outbreak of Legionnaires Disease.
Mr. Belkin earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Syracuse University, dual majoring in broadcast journalism at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and in political science from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and the College of Arts and Sciences.
James E. Henderson
currently runs his own business conducting hazardous materials accident
investigations and training. Henderson has more than 32 years of regulatory and
investigative experience in hazardous materials transportation safety working
both with the Department of Transportation and the NTSB. His expertise in
hazardous materials transportation safety is recognized within the government
his career in running the DOT truck and bus enforcement program in Minneapolis
and the southern half of Minnesota where he began specializing in the design and
construction of highway cargo tanks. In 1978, he was offered a position in the
formation of a new hazardous materials packaging enforcement team in what is now
PHMSA. Over the next twelve years, he developed their cylinder enforcement
program and inspected every cylinder manufacturing facility in the United States
and several facilities in Canada and Puerto Rico. This program brought him the
Administrator’s Superior Achievement Award and was used as a model for other
specialized container enforcement programs. Before leaving PHMSA, he ran the
branch that oversees all hazardous materials packaging and had been on
inspections of every type of packaging manufacturing, retesting, reconditioning
National Transportation Safety Board, Henderson became the Senior Hazardous
Materials Accident Investigator. While in this role, he conducted more than 50
major hazardous materials accident investigations and many smaller ones serving
as the Investigator-in-Charge and Group Chairman. These investigations covered
all modes of transportation from the Graniteville, South Carolina, train wreck
that released poisonous chlorine gas killing 9 individuals in a nearby plant and
on the train crew to the ValuJet Flight 592 crash in the Everglades, Florida,
that involved a fire started by chemical oxygen generators. As part of the
NTSB’s Valujet team, he received the 1997 Laurel Award from Aviation Week and
Space Technology. During this time, he expanded his proficiency into rail tank
cars, marine cargo ships and aircraft cargo compartments.
In 2005, the NSTB honored him with the
Dr. John K. Lauber Award for his expertise in hazardous materials
transportation as it contributed to the mission of the Safety Board.
the years, Henderson also the representatived the NTSB at the National Tank
Truck Carriers conference, the IATA conference on hazardous materials and
several Association of American Railroad’s hazardous materials and tank car
seminars. In addition, he was the NTSB’s representative during the rewrite of
the ANSI Safety Requirements for the Storage and Handling of Anhydrous Ammonia
Earl H. McKinney Jr. joined Hall
& Associates LLC as a consultant. Originally from
Bowling Green, Ohio, McKinney specializes in
aviation and human factors safety.
McKinney has published a number
of articles on aviation and human factors safety.
His research examined flying experience in the
following criteria: crisis decision-making, the
impact of the familiarity of pilots on crew
performance, the role of communication on early
flight deck team development, and organizational
learning in response to aircraft accidents. He has
received grants from the Air Force Mobility Command
and Air Force Research Lab to study crew behavior
and help design an IT system to support the
collaborative needs of decision-makers in crisis.
His consulting work is varied.
From the Crew Resource Management training to ground
controllers for a major U.S. airline, McKinney has
worked with some of the best and brightest in the
field. Additionally, he helped write the Air Force’s
New World Vistas report that identified new
technologies for military use. Recently, he served
on a blue-ribbon panel for the Secretaries of
Interior and Agriculture that reported on the safety
and effectiveness of aerial wildland firefighting.
Before joining Hall &
Associates, he was an associate professor in the
business school of Bowling Green State University.
Prior to assuming that position, he served in the
United States Air Force. His military career
includes 2,500 hours of flying time as a pilot and
instructor pilot in T-37, T-38, F-4, and TG-7
Trained at the Air Force Safety
School, McKinney served as a Wing Flying Safety
Officer, investigating and reporting on aircraft
accidents and incidents and leading the safety
program for more than 100 fighter pilots. He holds
an undergraduate degree from the Air Force Academy,
a master of industrial engineering degree from
Cornell University, and a Ph.D. from the University
of Texas. He served on the faculty of the Air Force
Academy for nine years.
Robert Pearce serves as a
consultant for Hall & Associates LLC. Prior to
this he served as a U.S. Army combat pilot, a flight
instructor, and research pilot, as well as Senior
Air Safety Investigator and later Regional Director
for the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
He began his career in 1967 as a
combat pilot for the 101 st Airborne Division where
he logged more than 1,000 combat flying hours.
After serving for five years, he moved on to the New
Jersey Army National Guard, where he served from
1972 until 1994. While with the Army National
Guard, he commanded the 50 th Combat Aviation
Brigade and the 150 th Combat Aviation Battalion.
During his time, Pearce also served as a civilian
research pilot for aircraft and weapons systems
where he compiled data and wrote specifications for
airworthiness releases for test aircraft. He
retired from the Army National Guard in 1994 at the
rank of Colonel and Master Army Aviator.
In 1992, Pearce joined the NTSB
as an Air Safety Investigator. While in this role,
he conducted more than 260 aviation accident
investigations serving as the Investigator-in-Charge
and Group Chairman. These investigations
covered a wide spectrum including general aviation,
corporate, government, and air carriers. By
1997 he was serving as Senior Air Safety
Investigator and in 1998 was promoted to Regional
Director of the NTSB for the Northeast United
States. During his tenure as Regional
Director, he was Chief Investigator and report
writer for the Piper PA-32 crash off the coast of
Martha's Vineyard that resulted in the death of John
F. Kennedy Jr. and his family. While in this
charge, he also briefed State Department officials
and the Egyptian Ambassador in the wake of the
EgyptAir Flight 990 crash as well as supported the
FBI on scene at the World Trade Center in the
aftermath of the events of September 11, 2001.
Pearce has attended Fairleigh
Dickinson University, Rutgers University and the
University of Southern California, where he
specialized in accident investigation.
Charles M. Pereira
Charles M. Pereira joined Hall &
Associates LLC, as a consultant in 2006.
Pereira specializes in aviation, aerospace, rail,
and marine accident and incident investigation.
From 1986 to1988, while
attending Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University ,
Pereira worked for Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation
as Engineering Intern in its Flight Test Division
and Stability and Control Division.
From 1990 to 2005, Pereira
worked for the NTSB as Senior Aerospace Engineer in
the Engineering Services, Vehicle Recorder, and
Vehicle Performance divisions. He went on to
serve as NTSB Group Chairman on more than 100
high-profile aviation, aerospace, rail, and marine
accident investigations including Sen. John Heinz's
fatal airplane crash in Merion, Pa.; the TWA Flight
800 explosion off Long Island, N.Y.; and Sen. Paul
Wellstone's fatal crash in Eveleth, Minn. The
NTSB also loaned Pereira 's services to other
federal agencies during the course of several
high-profile investigations, including the C-172
that intentionally crashed onto White House grounds,
and the break-up of the Space Shuttle Columbia.
Following the events of
September 11, 2001, Pereira was the sole NTSB
investigator selected by the 9-11 Commission to
serve as a member of its professional staff.
While detailed to the 9-11 Commission, Pereira was
responsible for the analysis, written summary, and
public presentation of all radar, FDR, CVR, ATC,
Command and Control, terrain, and building geometry
data for hundreds of aircraft, numerous ATC and
Command and Control facilities, and three crash
sites – all of which were spread out between
Florida, Indiana, and Massachusetts. Pereira
used his analyses of these data to co-write
significant portions of the 9-11 Commission report
and to develop 3-D animations of the hijacked
airplanes, military airplanes, Air Force One, and
other commercial and general aviation airplanes of
interest on 9-11, including synchronous playback of
audio recordings from FAA, military, and other
Pereira received his bachelor of
science degree in aeronautical engineering from
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 1989 and is
in the process of completing his master of science
degree in aeronautical science with a specialization
in aviation/aerospace safety. He received his
United States Coast Guard Captain's license from the
USCG Baltimore Regional Exam Center in 2000 and
frequently operates offshore charter and commercial
fishing vessels as President of Sushi Sportfishing,
Inc. Pereira received his North Carolina
General Contractor's Unlimited License in 2004 and
is President of Beach Design & Construction, Inc.
J. Vernon Roberts serves Hall &
Associates LLC as a consultant. For the past 30
years, Roberts has worked in the automotive industry
as both an engineer and a consultant.
Roberts’ previous experience
includes supervising vehicle safety for General
Motors, conducting clinical accident investigations
for the National Highway Traffic Board and serving
as chief engineer for the National Transportation
Safety Board. Most recently, he served as a
consultant to the United States Air Force to improve
vehicle fleet operational safety. He also recently
consulted to Battelle and the federal Department of
Transportation for peer review of regulatory
analysis for upgrading federal Motor Vehicle Safety
Standard 216 for Roof Crush Protection.
He received his B.S. degree in
mechanical engineering from the University of