Joan Claybrook, President Emeritus of Public Citizen and former administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), has received the 2012 Community Hero award from the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, part of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The Community Hero Award was created by the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy to recognize distinguished injury prevention leaders and exemplary programs that contribute to improving safety in our communities.
In 1966, Claybrook teamed up with Public Citizen founder Ralph Nader to successfully lobby for passage of the nation's first auto safety laws. As administrator of NHTSA under President Jimmy Carter, she issued the first standards requiring air bags in all passenger vehicles and the first fuel-economy laws. These acts empowered government to establish safety standards for new vehicles and issue recalls for defective vehicles and parts. She went on to serve as president of Public Citizen from 1982 until 2009.
"Motor vehicle safety is recognized by the CDC as one of the top ten public health success stories of the last century, and much of this success is attributable to the work of Joan Claybrook," said Andrea Gielen, ScD, ScM, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy. "We in the field of injury prevention are indebted to Joan's tireless service, advocacy and leadership."