Photo: NYCTLC
Meera Joshi

Biden appoints new FMCSA deputy, along with other DOT posts

Jan. 22, 2021
Meera Joshi will become the new FMCSA deputy administrator, stepping into a role that saw regular turnover during the Trump Administration.

While the new leader of the Department of Transportation awaits an all-but-certain Senate confirmation, the Biden Administration appointed a new deputy assistant to lead the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

Meera Joshi will become the new FMCSA deputy administrator, stepping into a role that saw regular turnover during the Trump Administration. Joshi was among many U.S. Department of Transportation appointees named by President Joe Biden on his first full day in office, Jan. 21.

“This experienced team looks forward to getting right to work on behalf of the American people to deliver on policies and projects that will create jobs, equitably serve all Americans, and meet the climate crisis,” said Carlos Monje Jr., senior advisor to the transportation secretary and acting chief of staff. “President Biden has been clear: stronger infrastructure is a key to building our country back better than it was before.”

For the past year, Joshi has been a principal and New York general manager with the transportation firm Sam Schwartz. Her bio on the firms’ website describer Joshi as a “global transportation leader with wide-ranging experience navigating technological and regulatory change.”

For eight years, she led the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC), spearheading “novel regulations, resolving challenges brought on by the rapid growth of rideshare services while simultaneously enhancing passengers’ safe access to a wide range of new mobility,” according to Schwartz. “Under her tenure, New York became the first city in the nation to mandate the reporting of granular trip data from large app operators like Uber and Lyft. Much of this information is now publicly available and an invaluable asset for transportation planners.”

Lana Hurdle, deputy assistant secretary for budget and programs, will serve as acting secretary of transportation until Secretary-Designate Pete Buttigieg is confirmed. Biden still has not nominated an administrator for FMCSA, which would require Senate confirmation, which the deputy positions do not. Until a top administrator is confirmed, the deputy is the acting leader of the agency. 

FMCSA only had one official administrator during President Trump’s term. Since Raymond Martinez stepped down as the head of the FMCSA in 2019, two deputy administrators have stepped in as acting leaders of the administration that oversees the trucking industry. James “Wiley” Deck was the latest to take up that task. Martinez wasn’t confirmed as head of the FMCSA until more than a year into Trump’s term. He stayed in the job for 20 months. 

Along with Joshi, some of the other transportation appointees include: 

  • Ann Carlson, Chief Counsel, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • Steve Cliff, Deputy Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
    • Christopher Coes, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy
      • Stephanie Pollack, Deputy Administrator, Federal Highway Administration
        • Andrew Rogers, Chief Counsel, Federal Highway Administration 
          • Charlene Wang, Special Assistant, Federal Highway Administration

            With more than 500,000 interstate carriers and 4.7 million commercial driver's license (CDL) holders across the nation, the FMCSA and its 1,100 employees have overseen significant changes for drivers and carriers over the past four years. During the Trump Administration, the FMCSA finalized the implementation of electronic logging devices (ELD), enacted new hours of service regulations, and saw the trucking industry move to the front of national consciousness during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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