Senate committee advances Hutcheson’s confirmation as FMCSA leader

June 22, 2022

Mark Schremmer

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Robin Hutcheson is another step closer to becoming the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s next permanent administrator.

The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee advanced Hutcheson’s confirmation through a voice vote on Wednesday, June 22. The next step is a vote on the Senate floor.

Hutcheson already has been leading the agency as acting administrator since January, taking over the role from Meera Joshi, who left to become a deputy mayor for New York City.

Before that, Hutcheson worked as the U.S. Department of Transportation’s deputy secretary for safety policy in 2021. She also was the director of public works for the city of Minneapolis, overseeing a team of 1,100 people across nine divisions, including drinking water, surface waters and sewers, solid waste and recycling, fleet management, and all transportation functions. She worked as the transportation director for Salt Lake City and was on the board of directors for the National Association of City Transportation Officials for seven years.

President Joe Biden nominated Hutcheson to become FMCSA’s permanent administrator in April.

The acting administrator position at FMCSA has been a revolving door since Ray Martinez stepped down as permanent administrator in October 2019.

Following Martinez’s departure, Jim Mullen became the agency’s acting administrator. Mullen stepped down in August 2020, and Wiley Deck held the role until the Biden administration named Joshi to the position in January 2021. Hutcheson is FMCSA’s fourth acting administrator since Martinez left.

Joshi also was nominated to become the next permanent administrator. As with Hutcheson, the Senate committee advanced Joshi’s nomination in October. However, Joshi’s confirmation was never approved by the full Senate.

If Hutcheson is confirmed, she would become FMCSA’s seventh permanent administrator since the agency was established in 2000. Previous administrators were Joseph Clapp, Annette Sandberg, John H. Hill, Anne Ferro, Scott Darling and Martinez.

Since joining FMCSA, Hutcheson has been active in the creation and implementation of the administration’s Trucking Action Plan. During a trip to the Mid-America Trucking Show in March, Hutcheson spoke about the plan and said that the administration felt the “urgency” to do something about the truck parking crisis. LL

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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.