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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Melody Drummond Hansen Appointed FMCSA Chief Counsel

Tuesday, July 9, 2024

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today announced Melody Drummond Hansen as the agency’s new Chief Counsel.  
In this role, Drummond Hansen will work closely with and advise the FMCSA Acting Administrator and senior staff on all aspects of legal policy for agency programs. She will lead a team of more than 50 attorneys responsible for providing legal support on regulatory and legislative affairs, adjudications, enforcement and litigation, procurement and grants, ethics, and employment matters. Drummond Hansen brings a decade of experience advising clients across the automotive and transportation industry and 20 years of experience in emerging technologies.
“Melody is a great addition to the FMCSA leadership team,” said FMCSA Acting Administrator Vinn White. “This is an exciting time for the agency, and I have no doubt that Melody’s dedication and proven track record in transportation and technology will help advance FMCSA’s mission and improve safety for everyone traveling the nation’s roadways.”

Before joining FMCSA, Drummond Hansen was a partner at BakerHostetler LLP, where she was a co-chair of the Automotive/Mobility industry team and a member of the Intellectual Property Group. She advised clients on a range of transportation and technology matters, including automated and connected vehicles, avionics, fleet management, electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles, telecommunications standards, data privacy and security, digital infrastructure, and artificial intelligence.

Drummond Hansen is originally from South Carolina. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Georgetown University, a Master of Science from the University of Oxford, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Chicago Law School.


The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) primary mission is to prevent crashes, fatalities, and injuries involving large trucks and buses. FMCSA develops safety and regulatory standards for commercial driver’s licenses; analyzes data and sponsors research; and conducts enforcement and education. FMCSA partners with nonprofit organizations, local and state governments, and other stakeholders to support innovative commercial driver training, safety inspections, and enhanced compliance and enforcement initiatives. In addition, FMCSA provides education on household goods consumer protection and conducts enforcement to protect consumers.