Four More Transportation Nominees Announced by White House

The White House yesterday announced President Biden’s intent to nominate four more individuals to senior positions at the U.S. Department of Transportation. All four announcements had been telegraphed to some extent on January 21 by the announcement that those individuals would be serving immediately in some way in an acting or temporary-sounding capacity, making it very likely they would soon be nominated for senior posts.

Carlos Monje, Jr. will be nominated to be Under Secretary of Transportation for Policy, the number 3 job at USDOT. Monje held that job in an acting capacity at the end of the Obama Administration, when he was the Senate-confirmed Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy. Previously, he had been chief of staff of the White House Domestic Policy Council and Special Assistant to the President under Obama. Since January 20 he has been “Senior Advisor to the Secretary” as the Department organized itself.

Annie Petsonk will be the nominee for Assistant Secretary for Aviation and International Affairs. An attorney, Petsonk has spent the last 25 years at the Environmental Defense Fund, where she often worked on the climate impacts of international aviation, serving from 2014 to 2021 as an expert observer on ICAO’s Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection. (Going way way back, she worked at the UN during development of the Montreal Protocol on the Ozone Layer in the 1980s). For those unfamiliar, the law vests the FAA Administrator with responsibility for regulating aviation safety, but gives the Secretary (delegated to the Assistant Secretary) responsibility for the economic regulation of aviation, and since much of USDOT’s historic purview in international affairs related to negotiating aviation agreements, those two fields were combined into one Assistant Secretary job a few decades back.

Robert Hampshire will be nominated to be Assistant Secretary of Transportation for Research and Technology (and thus will also be designated Chief Science Officer of the Department). Hampshire comes to the Department from tenure as an associate professor at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan (and the U of M Transportation Research Institute and its Institute for Data Science and its Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering). (See a list of his published articles here.) From 2007 to 2014, he was an assistant professor of operations research and public policy at Carnegie Mellon.

Amit Bose will be the nominee to be Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration, another person who held that same job in an acting capacity at the end of the Obama Administration. During almost eight years under Obama, Bose climbed the DOT ladder, starting in the legislative affairs office at FRA, then three years as a Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Office of the Secretary, then back to FRA as Senior Advisor, then Chief Counsel, then finally as Deputy Administrator. Prior to that, Bose had worked for New Jersey Transit and then briefly for Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ).

Reminder: ETW maintains an ongoing status table of Biden Administration USDOT nominees, updated every couple of days, which you can bookmark here.


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