President Biden Announces Key Nominees

WASHINGTON – Today, President Joe Biden announced his intent to nominate the following leaders to serve as key leaders in his administration: 

  • Shailen P. Bhatt, Nominee for Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation
  • Jeff Marootian, Nominee for Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy
  • Stephen A. Owens, Nominee for Chairman of the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board

Shailen P. Bhatt, Nominee for Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation

Shailen Bhatt is Senior Vice President of Global Transportation Innovation and Alternative Delivery at AECOM, a multinational infrastructure consulting firm. Bhatt previously served as the Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Transportation, Cabinet Secretary of the Delaware Department of Transportation, and as a presidential appointee at the U.S. Department of Transportation. In these roles, Bhatt spearheaded innovative solutions, collaborations, and partnerships to support the delivery of safe, sustainable, and cost-effective transportation systems for the 21st century. He previously worked as the CEO of the Intelligent Transportation Society of America, Chair of the Board of Directors for the National Operations Center of Excellence (NOCoE), Chair of the Executive Committee of the I-95 Corridor Coalition, and was a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Future of Automotive and Personal Transport.

Bhatt chairs an external advisory board for the United States Department of Energy, is a member of the Aurora Safety Advisory Board for autonomous driving, and is the Chair of the ITS World Congress Board of Directors. Bhatt is a proud husband and father to two daughters. He graduated summa cum laude from Western Kentucky University with a degree in Economics. 

Jeff Marootian, Nominee for Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy

Jeff Marootian currently serves as a Special Assistant to the President in the White House Office of Presidential Personnel. Prior to his service in the Biden-Harris Administration, he was a member of the Biden-Harris Transition Team. Marootian previously served in Washington D.C government as the Director of the District Department of Transportation, where he piloted sustainable transportation technologies, oversaw the effort to electrify the city’s Circulator bus fleet, and led the city’s early adoption of the Transportation and Climate Initiative. Marootian oversaw the modernization of hundreds of miles of roads and sidewalks and advanced critical infrastructure projects, such as the reconstruction of the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge and expansion of dedicated bus and bike lanes.

Marootian previously served in the Obama-Biden Administration as the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Chief Sustainability Officer at the U.S. Department of Transportation. He is an alumnus of The George Washington University where he has also taught as an adjunct faculty member in the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Administration.

Stephen A. Owens, Nominee for Chairman of the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board

Steve Owens is a member of the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB), appointed by President Biden and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in December 2021. Since being sworn in, Owens has worked to increase transparency and information-sharing by the CSB, identify ways to reduce the backlog in the CSB’s investigative reports, and increase collaboration and communications between agency leadership and CSB career professional staff and stakeholders. Prior to joining the CSB, he was an attorney in Phoenix, Arizona, focusing on environmental, safety, and health issues, and also advising clients on a range of matters relating to chemical safety and safe chemical practices. Owens previously served as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, where he was responsible for overseeing EPA’s chemical regulatory programs. He also previously served as Counsel to the Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight of the U.S. House Committee on Science and Technology, and Chief Counsel and later State Director for then-U.S. Senator Al Gore (D-TN).

Before serving at EPA, Owens was Director of the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ). As ADEQ Director, Owens oversaw the department’s policies and regulations relating to chemical safety and hazardous substances, including responding to chemical hazards and other emergency situations. He graduated with honors from Brown University and received his law degree in from Vanderbilt Law School, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Vanderbilt Law Review.

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