Toyota’s N.A. Quality Advisory Panel Named; Automaker Says Team Will Have Resources Necessary
NEW YORK — The former U.S. Secretary of Transportation, who has been tasked with helping to name Toyota's North American Quality Advisory Panel, announced the team Thursday.
Former Secretary Rodney Slater said the team will include experts with experience in corporate, government, education and nonprofit areas.
The team will include:
—Norman Augustine, former chairman and chief executive officer of Lockheed Martin Corp.
—Patricia Goldman, former vice chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board
—Mary Good, dean of engineering and information technology of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and former president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
—Roger Martin, dean of the Rotman School of Management
—Brian O'Neill, former president of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
—Sheila Widnall, professor at MIT and former secretary of the U.S. Air Force
The group of experts is expected to advise Toyota's North American affiliates on quality and safety issues.
The task force will be headed up by Steve St. Angelo as chief quality officer.
According to Toyota, "Panel members will have unfettered access to information concerning Toyota's quality and safety procedures and direct communication with Toyota Motor Corp. president Akio Toyoda, as well as with the newly formed Special Committee for Global Quality, led by Mr. Toyoda."
The company also revealed in a statement that the panel will have the authority to commission additional outside reviews and experts, as necessary, and "will have the resources necessary to pursue its mandate."
More specifically, St. Angelo said, "Toyota is in the midst of a significant global effort to strengthen our quality assurance operations and set a new, higher standard for vehicle safety and reliability. We are committed to taking the steps necessary to exceed customer expectations in every way possible.
"Engaging the experience and counsel of independent experts is a critical component of this process," he continued. "We are honored to have each of these accomplished dealers partner with us to help ensure that we achieve our goals."
St. Angelo indicated that he believes the panel has the understanding of Toyota's safety and quality control processes and will get the job done.
"The panel has already begun on-site reviews of the company's key operating facilities, plants and technical centers around the United States. In May, the panel will travel to Japan where they will meet with senior company executives, including president Akio Toyoda, and visit the company's quality, research and development and technical centers," he explained.
The first priority is for the panel to evaluate the electronic throttle control system installed in Toyota and Lexus vehicles, with its findings made public.
"For this evaluation, the group will have full access to the results of extensive testing previously and currently conducted by Toyota, as well as the comprehensive, independent study being undertaken for Toyota by Exponent, a leading engineering and scientific consulting firm based in Palo Alto, Calif. As a part of its on-site reviews, the panel will visit Exponents facilities and meet with the firm's engineers," the company said in its statement.
Toyota also provided additional background information on the panelists:
Rodney Slater is currently a partner in the premier public policy law firm, Patton Boggs LLP in Washington, D.C., with a focus on promoting a more secure, environmentally sound and sustainable global transportation infrastructure.
Secretary Slater served in the cabinet of U.S. President Bill Clinton as Secretary of Transportation from February 1997 until January 2001. During his tenure, Slater championed and received bipartisan congressional support for the passage of several historic legislative initiatives, including the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), which guaranteed a record $200 billion in surface transportation investment through 2003, and the Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment Reform Act for the 21st Century (AIR-21), which provided a record $46 billion to further enhance the safety and security of the U.S. aviation system. As Secretary of Transportation, he also worked with Congress to secure passage of the Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation (or TREAD) Act.
Slater was recently selected as a fellow of the Harvard Advanced Leadership Initiative. He is also a fellow with the National Academy of Public Administration and the Clinton Global Initiative as well as a NCAA Silver Anniversary Award recipient. He is a director of Delta Airlines, Verizon, ICx Technologies, Kansas City Southern and Transurban Group. He is a former director of Northwest Airlines and former Chairman of the United Way of America Board of Directors.
Norman Augustine is the retired chairman and CEO of the Lockheed Martin Corp. and a former under secretary of the Army. Widely recognized for his leadership in technology, Augustine served for 16 years on the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. Augustine also chaired the Obama administration's Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Committee, a 2009 blue-ribbon panel charged with conducting an independent assessment of the country's planned human space flight activities.
Among Augustine's many honors are the National Medal of Technology, the AAAS Philip Hauge Abelson Prize, the NAS Public Welfare Medal and the Distinguished Service Medal, given to him five times. Augustine chaired the NAS panel that conducted the 2005 study, "Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future," which recommends ways to strengthen research and education in science and technology.
Augustine served as chairman of the National Academy of Engineering, president and chairman of the Association of the United States Army, chairman of the Aerospace Industries Association, chairman of the Defense Science Board, and president of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He is a current or former member of the Board of Directors of ConocoPhillips, Black and Decker, Procter & Gamble and Lockheed Martin, and is a trustee emeritus of Johns Hopkins, and a former member of the board of trustees of Princeton and MIT. He holds 23 honorary degrees.
Patricia Goldman is a former vice chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board. Goldman is currently president emeritus of the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance, which she co-founded in 1997 and has built into a leading source for advocacy, information and support for ovarian cancer patients and their families.
Goldman has had a distinguished career as a senior executive in numerous corporate, government, and non-profit organizations, with significant experience managing diverse issues and constituencies across all transportation sectors. In addition to her many corporate and non-profit leadership positions, Goldman served from 1979 to 1988 as member and then vice chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, where she supervised major accident investigations in all modes of transportation and played an instrumental role in the enactment of safety regulations, such as the mandatory use of child safety seats. From 1988 to 1994, Goldman was senior vice president for Corporate Communications at US Airways, where she served as a member of the airline's Executive Committee, which coordinated all aspects of daily management.
Mary Good is founding dean and Donaghey professor at the Donaghey College of Engineering and Information Technology at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
Good is widely recognized for her distinguished career in academia, industry and government, having served on the National Science Board under presidents Carter and Reagan and chairing the NSB from 1988 to 1991.
She further served on the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology for President George H.W. Bush, and as under secretary for technology in the U.S. Department of Commerce for President Clinton. In addition, Good spent 25 years teaching and researching at Louisiana State University and the University of New Orleans before becoming a guiding force in research and development for Allied Signal.
Good is the recipient of numerous awards and commendations, including the Vannevar Bush Award and the National Science Foundation Distinguished Service medal from the National Science Foundation, the American Chemical Society Priestly Medal, the sixth Annual Heinz Award and the Philip Hogue Abelson prize from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which also elected her to serve as president.
Roger Martin is the dean of the Rotman School of Management and a professor of strategic management. Martin also holds the Premier's Chair in Competitiveness and Productivity and directs the Michael Lee-Chin Family Institute for Corporate Citizenship at the School. Previously, he spent 13 years as a director of Monitor Company, the global strategy consulting firm based in Cambridge, Mass., where he served as co-head of the firm for two years.
In 2010, Martin was named one of the most influential designers in the world by BusinessWeek. In 2009, he was named one of the 50 top management thinkers in the world by The Times (of London) and Forbes.com. Martin is a regular contributor to leading publications including: BusinessWeek, The Washington Post, Financial Times and Harvard Business Review. He has published three books: The Design of Business (Harvard Business School Press, 2009), The Opposable Mind (Harvard Business School Press, 2007) and The Responsibility Virus (Basic Books, 2002). He also co-wrote The Future of the MBA (Oxford University Press, 2008) and Diaminds (Rotman/UTPress, 2009).
Martin is chair of the Ontario Task Force on Competitiveness, Productivity and Economic Progress and serves on the boards of Thomson Reuters Corp. and Research in Motion, among others.
Brian O'Neill is former president of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote, undertake, and evaluate activities, studies, and programs that improve individual and public health, welfare and safety.
From 1969 to 2005, O'Neill served at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, helping found the Highway Loss Data Institute in 1972 and leading both organizations as president for more than 20 years. He was directly responsible for the research programs of both organizations and over the years he has been personally involved in research covering virtually all aspects of highway loss reduction, including vehicle and highway design, emergency medical care, the effectiveness of traffic laws, and driver behavior.
O'Neill is a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers, has authored numerous articles and presentations on automobile and traffic safety, and is the recipient of many of the industry's highest honors, including the Society of Automotive Engineers' Arnold Siegel International Transportation Safety Award, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Special Award of Appreciation, the American Public Health Association's Public Service Award, and the Washington Automotive Press Association's Golden Gear Award for Outstanding Achievements in Vehicle Safety.
Sheila Widnall is institute professor and professor of aeronautics and aeronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. From 1993 through 1997, she served as Secretary of the Air Force, where she was instrumental in the development of the organization's long-range vision,"Global Engagement: A Vision for the 21st Century Air Force." Widnall was responsible for all the department's affairs, including training, research and development, administration and welfare of personnel.
Since returning to MIT in 1997, Widnall has been active in the MIT Lean Aerospace Initiative with special emphasis on the space and policy focus teams. Her research activities in fluid dynamics have included the following: boundary layer stability, unsteady hydrodynamic loads on fully wetted and supercavitating hydrofoils of finite span, unsteady lifting-surface theory, unsteady air forces on oscillating cylinders in subsonic and supersonic flow, unsteady leading-edge vortex separation from slender delta wings, tip-vortex aerodynamics, helicopter noise, aerodynamics of high-speed ground transportation vehicles, vortex stability, aircraft-wake studies, turbulence and transition.
Widnall was appointed Abby Rockefeller Mauze Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics in 1986 and Institute Professor in 1998. She served as MIT's Associate Provost from 1992-1993. In 2003, she served as a member of the Columbia space shuttle accident investigation board. Widnall is also a member of the National Academy of Engineering and an Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.