Cischke will retire February 1 and will be succeeded by Robert Brown, who holds the same title but for Ford’s European division. He will take up his new role January 1. As part of the move, Brown becomes a company officer.
Cischke has been in the automotive industry for 35 years, and Ford said that she has played a leading role in several of its sustainability initiatives, helping to deliver higher fuel efficiency and lower emissions. She was appointed to her current role in 2007 and has served as the company’s top environment and safety officer since 2001.
In the role, she has been responsible for establishing Ford’s long-range sustainability strategy and environmental policy and assuring that Ford meets or exceeds all safety and environmental regulations worldwide. Cischke led the company’s participation in the effort to develop one national standard for fuel economy, resulting in industry-wide commitments to nearly double fuel efficiency by 2025, according to the company. Thirteen major automakers signed an agreement with President Obama in August to increase fuel economy to 54.5 miles per gallon for cars and light-duty trucks.
Before joining Ford in 2001, Cischke was senior vice president of regulatory affairs and passenger car operations at DaimlerChrysler. She began her career at Chrysler Corporation in 1976 and held various engineering positions until 1994 when she was named general manager of scientific labs and proving grounds. In 1996, she was named vice president of vehicle certification, compliance and safety affairs.
In his new role, Brown will assume direct responsibility for the company’s environment and safety strategy, policy and performance. He will report to Ford president and CEO Alan Mulally.
Since joining Ford as a compliance engineer in 1979, Brown has held a variety of leadership positions including serving as Ford’s environmental regulatory manager in Washington D.C., assistant director in the company’s automotive safety office and director of Vehicle Environmental Engineering.
Brown holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from University of Michigan – Dearborn and a master’s of science degree in engineering from Wayne State University.