"Sue is the very best example of someone who is committed to being part of the solution," said Ford CEO Alan Mulally in a statement. "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."
During her tenure at Ford, Cischke held a variety of environmental and auto safety roles. She was responsible for crafting the company's long-term sustainability strategy, as well as establishing its environmental policy.
Most recently, she represented Ford in the industry's efforts to develop one national fuel economy standard. The standard nearly doubles gas mileage requirements for all automakers by the 2025 model year.
Cischke joined Ford in 2001 as its top environmental and safety officer, and in 2008, she was appointed group vice president for sustainability, environment and safety engineering. Before arriving at Ford, she spent more than two decades at Chrysler in a variety of engineering and regulatory roles.
Brown joined Ford as a compliance engineer in 1979. He has been an environmental regulatory manager in Washington, D.C. He has also helped direct Ford's Automotive Safety Office and has directed the Vehicle Environmental Engineering department.
His successor as boss of safety and environmental issues in Europe wasn't named in a Ford statement released today.
Brown will report to 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 in the statement.
Brown has a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan - Dearborn and a master's degree in engineering from Wayne State University in Detroit.
Editor's note: An earlier version of this story misstated when Brown would transfer to the United States. He starts on Jan. 1, a month before Cischke retires.