New NTSB leaders bring data-driven approach to air safety

New NTSB appointees ​Warren Randolph, NTSB chief data officer, and Jen Adler, NTSB director of the Office of Safety Recommendations and Communications.​​
Photo Credit: NTSB

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recently made significant appointments, signaling a pivotal moment in the agency’s leadership.

Warren Randolph has been appointed as the first Chief Data Officer, while Jennifer Adler will head the Office of Safety Recommendations and Communications.

We take a look into their backgrounds, roles, and the implications of their appointments.

Warren Randolph: Chief Data Officer

Background and Experience

Warren Randolph joins the NTSB from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), where he held pivotal roles in data analysis and accident prevention.

With a Bachelor of Science degree from Purdue University and extensive experience in aviation, Randolph brings a wealth of knowledge to his new role.

His career trajectory includes supporting flight simulation platforms for the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Air Force to managing key programs at the FAA. This underscores his expertise in data governance and utilization.


Role at NTSB

Reporting to NTSB Managing Director Dana Schulze, Randolph’s appointment emphasizes the agency’s commitment to leveraging data for safety enhancement.

His mandate includes utilizing data to expedite investigations and streamline agency processes. With a deep understanding of the NTSB’s mission, Randolph will integrate data-driven approaches into the agency’s operations.

Jennifer Adler: Office of Safety Recommendations & Communications

Professional Background

Jennifer Adler brings a diverse background in government affairs, advocacy, and communications to her new role.

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With prior experience in senior positions on Capitol Hill and advocacy firms, Adler is well-versed in navigating the complexities of transportation safety policy.

Her academic background in political science further complements her expertise in driving legislative action and stakeholder engagement.



As the director of the Office of Safety Recommendations and Communications, Adler’s primary focus is on advancing NTSB safety recommendations.

Collaborating with Congress, the media, and industry stakeholders, she aims to facilitate the implementation of safety measures that save lives.

Adler’s strategic approach underscores the agency’s commitment to maximizing its impact through effective communication and advocacy.

Importance of Data in NTSB’s Decision Making

Schulze and NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy underscore the pivotal role of data in informing agency decisions.

Recent initiatives leveraging data have led to significant reductions in investigation timelines and case backlogs.

The integration of data-driven approaches not only enhances efficiency but also reinforces the agency’s commitment to safety excellence.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent U.S. government investigative agency responsible for civil transportation accident investigation.

They don’t determine fault or assign blame, but rather focus on understanding the causes of accidents to prevent future tragedies.

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Photo Credit: NTSB.

Here’s a summary of their key roles:

  • Investigate accidents and incidents: This includes aviation accidents and incidents, certain types of highway crashes, ship and marine accidents, pipeline incidents, bridge failures, and railroad accidents. They also investigate cases of hazardous materials releases that occur during transportation.
  • Determine probable cause: The NTSB conducts a thorough investigation to identify the contributing factors and underlying causes of an accident. This helps to identify systemic safety issues and prevent similar accidents from happening again.
  • Issue safety recommendations: Based on their findings, the NTSB issues safety recommendations to various stakeholders, including government agencies, industry, and manufacturers. These recommendations aim to improve safety regulations, procedures, and technologies to prevent future accidents.
  • Advocacy: The NTSB advocates for the implementation of their safety recommendations. They work with various stakeholders to ensure that their recommendations are adopted and implemented to improve transportation safety.


The appointments of Warren Randolph and Jennifer Adler mark a significant milestone in the NTSB’s pursuit of safety excellence.

Their expertise and strategic vision are poised to drive transformative change, ensuring that data and communication remain central to the agency’s mission.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 5 Min Read
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