SADD announces safety veteran as board chair

Students Against Destructive DecisionsStudents Against Destructive Decisions has selected Kelly Nantel to serve as its new chairperson.

Nantel is a globally recognized strategist and communications thought leader with more than 25 years of experience in executive communications, policymaking and crisis planning and response. In 2015, she was named Vice President of Communications & Advocacy at the National Safety Council (NSC) to improve safety in the nation’s workplaces, homes and communities, and on the road.

Prior to joining NSC, Nantel served as the Director of Public Affairs at the National Transportation Safety Board. Previously, she led a team of public affairs professionals at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and served as the agency’s chief spokesperson on major national security investigations, as well as human & drug trafficking, money laundering and immigration enforcement.

She began her communications career at the Massachusetts Department of Correction, where she led external affairs followed by a communications management role for the public safety secretary of the

Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety. Nantel has a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice and communications from Curry College. She is frequently invited to speak to organizations about effective crisis communications and is a proud member of the National Association of Professional Women, Women in PR and the Public Relations Society of America.

Nantel is also a renowned safety expert, specializing in transportation and home and community safety. She is frequently called upon to present and speak about issues such as automated vehicles, teen driving, distracted driving, impairment, and substance misuse. She serves as co-chair of the PAVE Coalition, focused on automated vehicle education, and led the Council’s Stop Everyday Killers opioid awareness campaign that partnered with the White House in 2018.

“I am incredibly honored to be the next chairman of an organization dedicated to instilling safety culture in our nation’s young people,” said Nantel.

The SADD Board of Directors provides oversight and guidance to the organization and its network of thousands of chapters in middle schools, high schools, and colleges across the country. The Board partners with the Chief Executive Officer to ensure student members have the resources to accomplish the critical mission of reducing harm and injury among young people as it relates to traffic safety, substance use, and personal health and safety.

“Kelly is an exceptional choice to lead our Board,” said Rick Birt, President & CEO. “She will be a fantastic partner to lead our governing body, as we empower teens, engage parents, mobilize communities, and change lives.”


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