Confirmed: Sweatt to Replace Fauth on NMB

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
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Loren Sweatt

The U.S. Senate on March 7 confirmed by voice vote President Joe Biden’s nomination of Republican Loren Sweatt to succeed Republican Gerald W. Fauth III on the National Mediation Board (NMB).

The President nominated Sweatt on March 20, 2023.

Sweatt has served in various government roles throughout her professional career. Most recently, she has been a Senior Professional Staffer with the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions in the U.S. Senate. Prior to that, she was the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) at the U.S. Department of Labor. For 15 years, Sweatt served as a Senior Policy Advisor at the Committee on Education and the Workforce in the House of Representatives. Her experience includes all facets of labor policy. She holds a Bachelor’s from Texas Christian University and a Master’s of Business Administration from Marymount University.

Fauth’s first three-year term expired in July 2020. NMB members may continue serving beyond expiration of their terms until they are renominated and again confirmed, or a successor is confirmed.

Other members of the three-member NMB are Democrat Linda Puchala, who first was confirmed in mid-2009 and whose fourth term expired in 2021, and Deidre Hamilton, whose first term expired in July 2022. Puchala and Hamilton were renominated by Biden in January 2023, Puchala for a term expiring July 1, 2027, Hamilton for a term expiring July 1, 2025. The Senate also confirmed them by voice vote on March 7, 2024.

Prior to becoming a Member, Hamilton worked as a staff attorney at the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT), working exclusively with the IBT’s Airline Division. At the IBT, she represented most of the crafts or classes within the airline industry, including pilots, flight attendants, technicians, and aircraft cleaners at commercial and cargo air carriers. Before that, she was a staff attorney at the Association of Flight Attendants. “In her career, she has handled a wide range of legal matters including NMB elections and mediation, collective bargaining support, contract enforcement and litigation of Railway Labor Act issues,” NMB said.

Hamilton, who began her career as a legal fellow in the General Counsel’s office at the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, “has been an active member of the Railway Labor Act legal community,” NMB noted. She has served as a panelist at meetings of the American Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Law Committee and the Railway and Airline Labor Law Committee. She has also served as a Senior Editor for the ABA Railway Labor Act Treatise.

Hamilton is a graduate of Oberlin College and the University of Michigan Law School.

Puchala, gains fifth and sixth terms via the two confirmation votes. She is a former president of the Association of Flight Attendants and once an NMB mediator and has been an NMB member since 2009. 

The NMB statute does not limit NMB members to a maximum number of terms.

Railway Age Capitol Hill Contributing Editor Frank N. Wilner contributed to this story.