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Ms. Flowers, a former NHTSA attorney well-known in the industry, served as a Senior Trial Attorney with the NHTSA Office of Chief Counsel. There, she was the lead U.S. federal enforcement attorney for a number of matters addressing some of the most significant issues in the industry. Ms. Flowers’ joining the Firm continues to enhance its best-in-class capabilities to meet the developing needs of mobility and transport clients and other companies with emerging technologies. The practice provides strategic leadership with business and legal advice for manufacturers, suppliers, start-ups, technology companies and government entities in the full-spectrum of transportation regulatory, safety, product quality, and automation matters, including automated/autonomous driving systems.
“Arija Flowers’ joining our team represents a consolidation at Babst Calland of several recent former NHTSA and DOT senior staff and leadership with the freshest and deepest understanding of NHTSA/DOT’s current decision-makers and technical analysis approach,” said Babst Calland’s Managing Shareholder Donald C. Bluedorn II. “The continued outreach to us for services from companies – even those who are well represented at present – has really spoken to the success of our vision,” he added.
Ms. Flowers will join Will Godfrey, Babst Calland’s Director, Mobility, Automation and Safety, and a former General Motors engineer and senior NHTSA regulatory chief, and Tim Goodman, the leader of Babst Calland’s Mobility, Transport and Safety Group, and former NHTSA chief legal officer for enforcement and U.S. federal senior executive.
Ms. Flowers will help companies navigate the full-spectrum of mobility, vehicle safety and related regulatory matters, including self-certification of standards, homologation, regulatory compliance, automated/autonomous driving systems, innovative mobility and safety approaches, best practices and emerging trends, standards enforcement, defects investigations, government inquiries and enforcement proceedings, and recall implementation.
“The industry knows and respects Arija, and I’m delighted she’s rejoining me and Will Godfrey,” said Tim Goodman. “The sheer number of companies we advise – from OEMs to suppliers, from start-ups and ride-sharing companies and e-commerce enterprises – is objective evidence of our organic growth, and Arija will be a force-multiplier on our team.”
At NHTSA, among other things, Ms. Flowers served as lead counsel for the agency’s investigation and ongoing oversight of the largest motor vehicle recall in U.S. history (Takata air bag inflators, involving 19 automotive manufacturers and an estimated 65-70 million inflators in 40-50 million vehicles in the U.S. market). She provided insight and leadership in agency investigations of vehicle and equipment manufacturers concerning safety-related defects, noncompliance with federal safety standards, and other violations of the Vehicle Safety Act and regulations. Ms. Flowers also supported DOT’s U.S. Supreme Court and federal appellate litigation practice on a number of cases.
Ms. Flowers has a background in public service. Prior to the Department of Transportation, she served as a judicial law clerk, and before law school served as the Scheduler and Executive Assistant to a senior U.S. Senator and staff to a Senator in the Washington state legislature.
Ms. Flowers earned her J.D., magna cum laude, from American University Washington College of Law. She graduated from the University of Washington with dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in History and in Communications and Political Science.