2019 Winner: James M. Graham

Kathryn J.R. Swanson Public Service Award
James M. Graham

Jim Graham is among GHSA’s most committed and longstanding supporters.

As Global Program Manager for Ford Driving Skills for Life, Jim has spearheaded the program since its creation in 2003, bringing free, hands-on, advanced driver training to newly licensed drivers in every state. Since then, Jim has been one of GHSA’s leading partners on teen driver safety and among the organizations most valued colleagues.

Through Jim’s leadership, the Ford DSFL program has constantly evolved in consultation with GHSA. As distracted driving emerged as a growing problem, particularly for teens, the program incorporated new distracted driving training modules. Along with distracted driving, the growing threat of drug-impaired and drowsy driving prompted the program to develop simulations of the experience of driving while high or sleepy to add to their already popular drunk driving simulation.

Jim and Ford DSFL were also instrumental in launching GHSA’s first competitive state grant program, providing funding to help states augment their existing teen safe driving efforts. This funding allowed states to create video contests, small-scale hands-on events and programs addressing drugged driving.

Aside from the annual driving tour and state program, Jim has provided ongoing support for GHSA’s Annual Meeting, bringing in top-notch speakers and delivering support to a number of State Highway Safety Offices.

Sixteen years ago, with the help of this award’s namesake Kathy Swanson and other traffic safety experts, Jim pinpointed the leading causes of teen driver crashes and translated that information into a lifesaving program that has spanned the entire country and spread across the globe.