Wiley Deck takes over leadership of FMCSA
August 31, 2020
•Land Line Staff
James “Wiley” Deck took over leadership of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on Monday, Aug. 31, becoming the third person to direct the agency in less than a year.
Deck takes over for Jim Mullen, who previously announced he would be leaving the agency at the end of the month. Deck assumes Mullen’s role as deputy administrator. Without an administrator in place, the position serves as the agency’s acting administrator.
For nearly the past year, Deck worked as the senior policy adviser to U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. Before taking that position in October, he was FMCSA’s director of government affairs. Deck started his federal career in 1994, serving on the staff of Rep. John Mica until 2017. During that time, Deck worked in a variety of roles, including six years as Mica’s chief of staff. Before joining FMCSA, he also was the director of oversight and investigations for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
“I want to congratulate and welcome Wiley Deck as he steps in to his new role,” OOIDA Executive Vice President Lewie Pugh said earlier this month. “I’ve worked with Wiley the last few years, and I’m excited to work with him more on issues that are important to truckers.”
Mullen became FMCSA’s deputy administrator and interim leader after Ray Martinez stepped down as administrator on Oct. 28.
While his tenure was short, Mullen took over Martinez’s efforts toward reforming the agency’s hours-of-service rules, which are set to take effect on Sept. 29. He also was in charge as the COVID-19 pandemic took the country by storm, leading to the first federal hours-of-service waiver in the agency’s history.
“Deputy Administrator Mullen continued the precedent set by former Administrator Ray Martinez in terms of including industry in policy discussions and meeting with stakeholders,” Pugh said. “He was able to get the new hours-of-service rule across the finish line. He had a willingness to listen and learn more about the trucking industry, and he handled impacts 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.”
Before Mullen’s tenure ended, it was announced on Friday, Aug. 28, that the Department of Transportation is proposing a pilot program to look at creating additional flexibility within the hours of service. The pilot program would allow participating drivers to pause their on-duty period with one off-duty period of up to three hours.
Mullen, who worked more than a decade for Werner as executive vice president and general counsel, joined FMCSA as chief counsel in June 2018.
Martinez’s announcement last October that he was stepping down as administrator to oversee a DOT construction project in Massachusetts created a shakeup within the agency.
Mullen, who had served as chief counsel, became acting administrator. Alan Hanson, who had served as deputy administrator under Martinez, swapped roles with Mullen and became chief counsel. In addition, Deck left his position at FMCSA to become senior policy adviser for Chao.
Land Line’s Greg Grisolano contributed to this report.