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FEBRUARY 20, 2012
Brown Takes Cischke’s Role
At Ford Safety, Environment
by Irena Granaas
Special Writer
 There’s a new sheriff in town.
 Following the retirement last month of Ford Motor Company’s long-time torch bearer for safety and the environment, Sue Cischke, the automaker announced the appointment of Robert D. Brown as vice president, Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering.
 Brown, 56, assumed his new role Jan. 1. He  previously served as vice president, Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering, Ford of Europe.
 Brown began his career at Ford in 1979 as a compliance engineer. Since that time, he has held a variety of responsibilities, including a stint as Ford’s environmental regulatory manager in Washington, D.C., assistant director of  the company’s Automotive Safety Office and director of Ford’s Vehicle Environmental Engineering.
 He reports directly to Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally.
 In his newest post, Brown will spearhead the company’s environmental and safety strategies and ensure Ford’s successful compliance with U.S. and global safety and environmental regulations.
 “Robert has the right combination of skills and experience to lead Ford forward in this very important area for our company and our stakeholders,” Mulally said.
 “Robert’s appointment ensures we will be positioned to continue our leadership in the areas of sustainability and safety, and demonstrates our continued strong commitment to working together with all our stakeholders to develop holistic solutions that contribute to a better world.”
 Brown has solid Detroit roots, holding a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan-Dearborn and a master’s of science degree in engineering from Wayne State University.
 In a recent statement, he expressed his commitment to leading Ford’s continuing progress in these important areas.
 “Ford has made great progress in the areas of safety leadership and environmental responsibility over the years, developing new technologies that are benefiting both our customers and communities alike,” said Brown.
 “I’m excited to take on this new role and to be part of a team that’s committed to further evolving our product lineup, especially in the areas of fuel efficiency and safety.”
 Brown’s environmental and safety bona fides include serving on the Board of Advisors for UC-Riverside Center for Environmental Research and Technology.
 He has also contributed with service on the Coordinating Research Council Board of Directors and Management Committee, the Truck and Engine Manufacturers Board of Directors and Executive Committee, the Subcommittee for EPA’s Mobile Source Technical Review, and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers Mobile Source Committee and the Safety Policy Committee.
 Wherever he goes, Brown demonstrates a strong fidelity to helping out surrounding communities, not only with basic needs, but in furthering educational opportunities.   For example, Brown has given his support for the Ann Arbor Community Center, UM-Dearborn College of Engineering, Gleaners Food Bank, United Way, the Salvation Army, Wayne State University College of Engineering, the United Negro College Fund and the USO.
 Among his efforts to open doors for youth are Brown’s fundraising activities for Ann Arbor area high school talent and scholarship award programs.
 In his new post, Brown has big shoes to fill. Cischke came to Ford in 2001 after stellar service as an engineer for Chrysler Corporation and held a leading role in Regulatory Affairs and Passenger Car Operations with DaimlerChrysler.
 She had been Ford’s top safety and environmental officer since 2001, and was a leader on several of the company’s most important initiatives in the areas of environment and sustainability, helping the automaker deliver safer, greener and more fuel-efficient vehicles to its customers.
 Cischke is passing the torch to her successor with confidence in Brown’s – and Ford Motor Co.’s – commitment to carrying the work forward.
 “It’s been an honor to work 35 years in the auto industry and dedicate my career to delivering ever safer and more efficient vehicles to our customers, and improving the environmental performance of our factories and facilities,” she said in announcing her plans to retire.
 “I leave Ford knowing that safety leadership and environmental responsibility is deeply ingrained in our culture and exciting progress will continue.”
Robert Brown, above, came from Ford of Europe to assume his new role as Ford Vice President, Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering in Dearborn. He replaces Sue Cischke, who announced her retirement earlier.
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