Sharon Bryson currently serves as the Senior Administrator for the Delaware Emergency Management Agency providing guidance and support to all aspects of the agency’s communication and community outreach initiatives. She retired from federal service in December 2022 where she served as the Managing Director for the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). She joined the NTSB in November 1997 as a victim assistance specialist, later becoming the Chief of the Transportation Disaster Assistance (TDA) program. Sharon was promoted to TDA Director in January 2000 – the same day as the crash of Alaska Air flight 261 off the California coast.
As TDA Director, she responded to or managed the response to more than 140 major transportation accidents. Sharon’s hard work and dedication to assisting victims and their family members helped to transform this program into a highly regarded program within the agency, the transportation community, other federal agencies and beyond. The program’s model has been adopted by local, state and federal disaster response agencies, several nations and the United Nations body of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
In 2010, Sharon was promoted to the Deputy Director of the Office of Communications and then in 2014 became the Director of the Office of Safety Recommendations and Communications. In 2019, she was selected to serve as the first female Managing Director where she oversaw hundreds of accident investigations. In addition, she is credited with managing decisions that kept the agency personnel safe and working during the early phases of the pandemic.
Prior to joining the Safety Board, Sharon served more than 12 years as a civilian with the United States Air Force. She joined the Air Force as a family support specialist and was selected as the Center Director in 1990. In her role as the Director at Dover Air Force Base she was responsible for providing critical support to the Dover Port Mortuary.
While Sharon has had many accomplishments and received numerous awards including the Distinguished Presidential Rank Award, she will be the first to tell you that “the single greatest honor of her career has been building the family assistance program at the NTSB and watching it grow to serve thousands of victims and families impacted by transportation disasters.”