Jim Hall is a leading expert on transportation safety and security and crisis management, having served government and private clients for more than 35 years. As an expert in transportation, Hall has given congressional testimony before numerous House and Senate committees, including the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure (aviation and railroad subcommittees) and the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation (transportation and surface transportation/merchant marine subcommittees). In addition, Mr. Hall has served as a consultant and expert witness in private litigation matters on a broad range of transportation issues including, but not limited to, fixed wing and rotor-craft accidents.
Hall was nominated by President Clinton to the National Transportation Safety Board in 1993, became the Board's chairman in 1994 and led the Board through January 2001. During his chairmanship, Hall worked tirelessly to improve safety in all modes of transportation in the U.S. and abroad. He visited more than 30 nations as chairman, and oversaw a period of unprecedented activity as the NTSB investigated numerous major aviation, rail, pipeline and maritime accidents in the U.S. and assisted in many international accident investigations. Among the major investigations the NTSB conducted while Hall was chairman were the aviation cases of USAir 427, TWA 800, and EgyptAir 990, the Olympic Pipeline accident in Bellingham, Wash., the AMTRAK crash in Bourbonnais, Ill., and a Carnival Cruise Line accident near Miami. In 1996, President Clinton named Hall to the White House Commission on Aviation Safety and Security.
Under Hall's leadership, the NTSB issued landmark safety studies on commuter airlines, the air tour industry, the performance and use of child restraint systems, personal watercraft, transit bus operations, passive-grade railway crossings and the dangers posed to children by passenger-side airbags in automobiles. Hall began his career in Washington serving as counsel to the Senate Subcommittee on Intergovernmental Relations and a member of the staff of Senator Albert Gore, Sr. He maintained a private legal practice in Chattanooga, Tennessee, before serving in the cabinet of Tennessee Governor Ned McWherter. Hall served as director of the state's Planning Office for five years, then returned to Washington, D.C., to serve as chief of staff for Senator Harlan Mathews before being appointed to the NTSB.
Today, Hall serves as an adviser to governments and private clients on transportation safety and security, crisis management and government relations. He is a frequent speaker at industry events, an oft-quoted expert source by television and print reporters, and an author of numerous Op-Ed pieces. Hall has appeared on virtually every major television news program, including "60 Minutes," the "Today" show, "Nightline," "Larry King Live," "Fox & Friends," and "BBC News," and his columns have appeared in publications such as the New York Times and USA Today.
Hall is a University of Tennessee Trustee, serves on the board of directors for the UC Foundation, is a former member of the board of directors for U.S. Xpress Enterprises, as chairman of the Enterprise Center in Chattanooga, on the Board of Directors of the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport Authority and the Tennessee River Gorge Trust. Hall has also served on the National Academy of Engineering's Committee on Combating Terrorism and the Aviation Institute Advisory Board of George Washington University.
Hall graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1967 with a baccalaureate of legal letters degree. He served as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army from 1967 to 1973, receiving the Bronze Star for Meritorious Service in Vietnam in 1969.