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Blakey is president and chief executive officer of the Aerospace Industries Association. AIA represents the nation’s leading manufacturers and suppliers of civil, military, and business aircraft, helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles, space systems, aircraft engines, missiles, materiel and related components, equipment services, and information technology.
She became the eighth full-time chief executive of the association in 2007. Before that, she served a five-year term as administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration. As administrator, Blakey was responsible for regulating the nation’s airways as well as operating the world's largest air traffic control system. As FAA administrator, Blakey oversaw the safest period for air travel in the United States' history and is a tireless safety advocate internationally. She instituted solid business practices at the agency with more than 97 percent of the agency's major programs coming in on time and on budget. Under her leadership, the Next Generation Air Transportation System was launched and significant progress made toward its implementation.
Prior to being named FAA Administrator, Blakey served as chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board. During her tenure as chairman, Blakey managed a number of accident investigations, including the crash of American Airlines flight 587. Blakey worked to improve the Board's accident reporting process and increased industry and regulatory responsiveness to NTSB safety recommendations. Additionally, Blakey strengthened the Board’s advocacy and outreach programs to promote safer travel throughout all modes of transportation. She also furthered development of the NTSB Academy as a national and international resource to enhance aviation safety and accident investigations.
Including her service at the FAA and NTSB, Blakey has held six presidential appointments, four of which required Senate confirmation. From 1992 to 1993, Blakey served as administrator of the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). As the nation's leading highway safety official, she was charged with reducing deaths, injuries, and economic losses resulting from motor vehicle crashes. Prior to her service at NHTSA, she held key positions at the Department of Commerce, the Department of Education, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the White House and the Department of Transportation.
From 1993 to 2001, Blakey was the principal of Blakey & Associates, now Blakey & Agnew, a Washington, D.C. public affairs consulting firm with a particular focus on transportation issues and traffic safety.
Born in Gadsden, Ala., Blakey received her bachelor's degree with honors in international studies from Mary Washington College of the University of Virginia. She also attended Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies for graduate work in Middle East Affairs.