Mullen to leave FMCSA at end of August, DOT confirms

August 17, 2020

Mark Schremmer

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Jim Mullen, FMCSA’s acting administrator, will leave the agency at the end of August, a spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Transportation confirmed.

James “Wiley” Deck, the senior policy adviser to DOT Secretary Elaine Chao, will assume the role of deputy administrator of FMCSA.

“We greatly appreciate Jim’s service and the work he has done for our country,” the DOT spokesperson said.

Mullen, who worked more than a decade for Werner as executive vice president and general counsel, became the agency’s deputy administrator and interim leader after Ray Martinez stepped down as administrator on Oct. 28. Mullen joined FMCSA as chief counsel in June 2018.

OOIDA said it appreciated Mullen’s work toward FMCSA’s final rule on hours of service, which is set to take effect on Sept. 29.

“Deputy Administrator Mullen continued the precedent set by former Administrator Ray Martinez in terms of including industry in policy discussions and meeting with stakeholders,” OOIDA Executive Vice President Lewie Pugh said. “He was able to get the new hours-of-service rules across the finish line. He had a willingness to listen and learn more about the trucking industry, and he handled impacts to trucking as a result of COVID-19 exceptionally well.  I consider him a friend, and I wish him the best as he moves on from FMCSA.”

Deck served as FMCSA’s director of government affairs before taking the senior policy adviser position in October. Deck began his federal career in 1994, serving on the staff of Rep. John Mica until 2017. During that time, Deck served in a variety of roles, including six years as Mica’s chief of staff. Before joining FMCSA, he also served as the director of oversight and investigations for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

“I also want to congratulate and welcome Wiley Deck as he steps in to his new role,” Pugh said.  “I’ve worked with Wiley the last few years and am excited to work with him more on issues that are important to truckers.”

Changes in FMCSA

This is the FMCSA’s second major change in the past year.

Martinez, who became FMCSA administrator in February 2018, announced this past October that he was leaving the agency to oversee a DOT construction project at the Volpe Center in Massachusetts.

Despite being administrator for less than two years, Martinez is credited with starting the process toward hours-of-service reform. Mullen continued the job, getting an hours-of-service final rule across the finish line.

During FMCSA’s Trucking Safety Summit earlier this month, Mullen said the agency planned to move forward with its Sept. 29 rollout of the new hours-of-service regulations and that the plan remained “on track.”

Mark Schremmer, senior editor, joined Land Line in 2015. An award-winning journalist and former assistant news editor at The Topeka Capital-Journal, he brings fresh ideas, solid reporting skills, and more than two decades of journalism experience to our staff.