Meera Joshi, acting administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), will leave her post at FMCSA after accepting a position as a New York City deputy mayor.
On Dec. 20, New York Mayor-elect Eric Adams introduced five women deputy mayor appointees, naming Joshi as deputy mayor for operations. Joshi will remain in her current role at FMCSA for the next month, a U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) spokesperson confirmed.
Ryan Streblow, National Tank Truck Carriers president and CEO, expressed his gratitude to have worked with Joshi to improve safety in the tank truck industry.
“Meera Joshi quickly became well respected within our industry and will be greatly missed,” Streblow said. “She worked tirelessly with NTTC earlier this year through a pipeline cyber-attack, along with being a champion for our industry as we address continued driver shortages. Deputy Administrator Joshi and NTTC leadership had worked closely for the past several months to address issues affecting the tank truck industry, and NTTC is eager to continue its work with FMCSA leadership on solving these and other issues.”
Joshi, currently the deputy administrator of the FMCSA, has been the acting head of the agency—the USDOT's interstate trucking and busing regulatory arm—since President Biden took office in January. Biden nominated her to head the agency, and she was on track to become FMCSA's administrator. Joshi also had the backing of American Trucking Associations (ATA) and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance.
“Meera Joshi has led FMCSA through historic times—as an unprecedented global pandemic, countless natural disasters, a cyberattack on a major domestic pipeline, and widespread workforce shortages challenged the freight economy in ways never before seen,” ATA President and CEO Chris Spear said in a statement following reports that Joshi will be leaving the Biden administration.
“Throughout her tenure, the trucking industry has found Deputy Administrator Joshi to be a candid, collaborative, and valued partner in government,” Spear added. “Her use of data and stakeholder input drove a sound policy process designed to meet real-world needs. Her leadership has helped to ensure our industry could continue to safely serve the American people and meet the demands of the economy during these incredible times."
With more than 500,000 interstate carriers and 4.7 million commercial driver's license (CDL) holders across the nation, FMCSA and its 1,100 employees have overseen significant changes for drivers and carriers over the past five years.
During President Trump’s administration, FMCSA only had one official administrator. Since Raymond Martinez stepped down as the head of the FMCSA in 2019, two deputy administrators have stepped in as acting leaders of the agency. James “Wiley” Deck was the latest to take up that task. Martinez wasn’t confirmed as head of the FMCSA until more than a year into Trump’s term. He stayed in the job for 20 months.
Joshi is the third deputy administrator to act as head of FMCSA.
“We are very grateful for Deputy Administrator Meera Joshi’s leadership this past year at FMCSA and know that she will bring the same commitment, expertise, and vision to her new role,” a USDOT spokesperson said via email. “She has engaged with truck drivers and the motor coach industry to chart a clear path for FMCSA to address our supply chain challenges, improve driver safety and job quality, and has built a strong team at FMCSA who will help build on this foundation.”
An attorney, Joshi is a past chairwoman and CEO of the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission, the nation’s largest for-hire transportation regulator. In New York, she spearheaded novel Vision Zero campaigns using data tools to keep high-risk drivers and unsafe vehicles off the city's streets. She also led landmark policy, including the establishment of open transportation data standards for app-based providers, enacting the nation’s first for-hire driver pay protection program, and providing broad access to for-hire transportation for passengers who use wheelchairs. She also had been the deputy director of the Civilian Complaint Review Board. In 2019, Joshi was a visiting scholar at the Rudin Center for Transportation Policy & Management.
Before taking on her role at FMCSA, Joshi was the inspector general for the New York City Department of Corrections. In that role, she was responsible for investigating corruption and criminality at all levels of the city's jail operations. She also was the first deputy executive director of the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board, which led police misconduct investigations.