Meera Joshi nominated to be permanent FMCSA administrator

April 14, 2021

Mark Schremmer


President Joe Biden has announced his intent to nominate Meera Joshi to take the permanent role as administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Joshi, a former chairperson and CEO of the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission, has served as the agency’s acting administrator since Jan. 20. The White House announced the nomination of Joshi, along with nine other administration nominations, on Wednesday, April 14.

If confirmed, Joshi will become FMCSA’s first permanent administrator since Ray Martinez stepped down from the post in October 2019. Since then, the agency has been led by Jim Mullen, Wiley Deck, and Joshi as acting administrators.

According to the White House, Joshi is an attorney with more than 16 years of experience leading government oversight agencies. She served as the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission chairperson from 2014 until 2019.

“She also led landmark policy, including establishing robust open transportation data standards for app-based providers,” the White House wrote. “(That enacted) the nation’s first for-hire driver pay protection program and (provided) broad access to for-hire transportation for passengers who use wheelchairs.”

Joshi also has served as the inspector general for New York City’s Department of Corrections and as the general manager for the New York Office of Sam Schwartz Transportation Consultants.

FMCSA leadership

Joshi’s road to confirmation would likely take several months. Martinez was nominated by President Donald Trump to be FMCSA administrator in September 2017 and was confirmed in February 2018.

While Martinez’s tenure was short, he led the charge toward hours-of-service reform in his more than year-and-a-half on the job. In October 2019, he announced he was stepping down from the post to oversee a DOT construction project at the Volpe Center in Massachusetts.

Mullen, who was FMCSA’s chief counsel at the time, assumed the rule of acting administrator. Mullen resigned in August 2020, and Deck held the post until the administration changed on Jan. 20.

If confirmed, Joshi would become the seventh permanent FMCSA administrator since the agency was established in 2000. Previous administrators were Joseph Clapp, Annette Sandberg, John H. Hill, Anne Ferro, and Scott Darling. Julie Cirillo served as FMCSA leader when the agency was formed in 2000 but only did so as an “acting” administrator.

Trottenberg confirmed

On Tuesday, April 13, the Senate confirmed Polly Trottenberg as deputy secretary of the Department of Transportation.

Senators voted 82-15 in favor of giving Trottenberg the No. 2 spot in the DOT under Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

Trottenberg served as commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation from 2014 to 2020. LL