Senate Confirms Trottenberg as USDOT Deputy Secretary

The Senate confirmed Polly Trottenberg as deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation by a vote of 82 to 15 on April 13. The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation had approved Trottenberg for that position by a vote of 24 to 4 on March 24.

Polly Trottenberg

Trottenberg most recently spent seven years as the transportation commissioner for New York City. She previously served as USDOT’s assistant secretary and under secretary for policy for five years during President Obama’s administration.

“[Trottenberg] earned a reputation here and as commissioner of NYCDOT as a brilliant, thoughtful, effective public servant whose work improved the lives of millions of travelers,” noted USDOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg in a statement. “Her passion and skill arrives at a critical moment as we work to transform our infrastructure, create millions of good jobs, advance safety and equity, and combat climate change.”

The Biden administration also recently made four other transportation agency nominations.

Meera Joshi

On April 14, the administration nominated Meera Joshi to be administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, where she’s been serving as deputy administrator since on January 2021.

An attorney with more than 16 years of experience leading government oversight agencies, Joshi previously served as chair and CEO of the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission and as inspector general for New York City’s Department of Corrections. In addition to her government positions, Joshi served as general manager for the New York Office of Sam Schwartz Transportation Consultants.

Christopher Coes

The administration also nominated Christopher Coes to serve as assistant secretary for transportation policy at USDOT; a role in which he is currently serving as acting assistant secretary.

Coes previously served as vice president for land use and development at Smart Growth America as part of a 10-year career with that organization, with a focus on building up its environment programs.

On April 9, the administration nominated Nuria Fernandez to serve as administrator Federal Transit Administration, where she has been serving as FTA’s acting administrator since her appointment as deputy secretary on January 20.

Nuria Fernandez

Fernandez previously served as the general manager and CEO of the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, along with stints as chief operating officer of the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority and senior vice president of design and construction for the Chicago Transit Authority and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, consecutively.

Fernandez is also the immediate past chair of the American Public Transportation Association.

Mohsin Raza Syed

On April 7, the administration nominated Mohsin Raza Syed to be assistant secretary of government affairs at the USDOT.

He currently serves as principal deputy assistant secretary for Congressional affairs at USDOT.

Syed previously served for over six years on Capitol Hill, including stints as the majority chief counsel for the House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, as well as minority staff director for the Subcommittee on Aviation Operations, Safety, and Security within the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

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