888 Seventeenth St. N.W., Suite 700
Washington, D.C. 20006
Phone: (202) 298-8660
Fax: (202) 342-0683
Robert T. Francis (Senior Policy Advisor)
Title: Senior Policy Advisor
Robert Talcott Francis is past Vice Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, a position to which he was appointed by President Clinton in January 1995 and confirmed by the United States Senate.
After joining the Safety Board, Mr. Francis was the senior NTSB official at a number of transportation accident investigations, including the explosion and crash of TWA Flight 800 off Long Island, New York; the crash of ValuJet Flight 592 in the Florida Everglades; an Amtrak train derailment in Arizona; a fire aboard the cruise ship Ecstasy near Miami; a tour bus accident near New Orleans; a powered-glider accident in Minden, Nevada; and a Learjet 35 accident in Mina, South Dakota. Mr. Francis also has chaired a number of Safety Board public hearings including the hearing on Part 145 aviation maintenance practices and oversight, the hearing on Korean Air Flight 801 that crashed in Guam and the hearing on passive grade crossing safety in the United States. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Governors of the Flight Safety Foundation and is actively involved as a member of the Foundation's ICARUS Committee, a group composed of worldwide aviation experts who gather informally to share ideas on reducing human error in the cockpit. He has specialized in international aviation safety issues and has spoken extensively on this subject. Mr. Francis is a recipient of an Aviation Week and Space Technology 1996 Laurels Award and was recognized by both the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Coast Guard for meritorious service in the TWA Flight 800 investigation.
Prior to his appointment to the Safety Board, Mr. Francis served as Senior Representative for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in Western Europe and North Africa and was based in Paris, France. Representing the FAA Administrator, he worked extensively on aviation safety and security issues with U.S. and foreign air carriers, transportation governmental authorities, aircraft manufacturers and airports.
A native of Cohasset, Massachusetts, Mr. Francis received his A.B. from Williams College and attended Boston University and the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. He holds a commercial pilot certificate with instrument and twin-engine ratings. He is a member of the French Academy of Air & Space, a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, a Liveryman of The London Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators, a member of the Wings Club of New York, and a trustee of the Aero Club of Washington.