Ford Environment and Safety Chief Sue Cischke Retires After A 35-Year Career


DEARBORN — Ford Motor Company today announced that Sue Cischke, group vice president, Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering, has elected to retire effective Feb. 1, 2012, after 35 years of service in the automotive industry. 

Cischke will be succeeded by Robert Brown, who also has been elected a company officer as part of this move.  Brown is currently vice president, Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering, Ford of Europe.  Brown will assume his new position as vice president, Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering on Jan. 1, 2012.

Cischke, 57, has played a leading role on several of Ford’s most important initiatives in the areas of environmental sustainability and automotive safety, helping Ford deliver new levels of performance of fuel efficiency, emissions and safety to Ford customers globally. 

“Sue is the very best example of someone who is committed to being part of the solution,” said Alan Mulally, Ford president and CEO. “Sue knows how to bring people together, find common ground and make progress on the world’s big issues, especially environmental sustainability, energy independence and economic development.”

Cischke was appointed to her current role in 2008 and she has served as the company’s top environment and safety officer since 2001. In this 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. She also has been responsible for establishing Ford’s long-term safety strategy, promoting aggressive standardization of product technology that delivers real world safety benefits.

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.

“Sue’s contributions to continuous improvement in the areas of environment and safety will pay off for years to come,” Mulally said. “Our company, our customers and our communities will benefit from her commitment to contribute to a better world.”

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.

“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,” Cischke said. “I leave Ford knowing that safety leadership and environmental responsibility is deeply ingrained in our culture and exciting progress will continue.”

In his new role, Brown, 56, will assume direct responsibility for the company’s environment and safety strategy, policy and performance.  He will report to Alan Mulally.

“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.”

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 working 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.

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 166,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit