Shailen P. Bhatt has been nominated as the administrator of the Federal Highway Administration of the US Department of Transportation, according to a White House press release. If Bhatt’s nomination is confirmed, he will become one of over 50 Indian Americans who are serving in the Biden administration, which is a record for any US administration.
U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, applauded President Biden’s nomination of Shailen Bhatt to serve as Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
Bhatt is Senior Vice President of Global Transportation Innovation and Alternative Delivery at AECOM, a consulting firm. Bhatt previously served as the Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Transportation, and as a presidential appointee at the U.S. Department of Transportation.
According to a White House release, “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.”
“From the day he took office, President Biden has made rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure—and doing so in a way that reduces emissions, boosts resilience, improves safety, and connects communities—a top priority. After much consideration, I’m delighted to see him nominate such a thoughtful, accomplished person to be the Administrator of the FHWA.
“Shailen Bhatt’s resume is nearly perfect for leading a transportation agency with such a critical infrastructure mission. In addition to serving as a presidential appointee at the U.S. Department of Transportation, he has also experience at the state level, leading the Colorado and Delaware Departments of Transportation. I have a long history of working with Shailen, and he is an outstanding choice. I’m confident that he won’t need any on-the-job training and look forward to doing my part to expeditiously advance his nomination and confirm him for this important role.”
Bhatt was one of a number of people brought in by the administration of Gov. Jack Markell, who departed from the usual pattern of governors not looking outside the state for administrative talent. Markell’s predecessor John Carney has mainly relied on current state employees to fill cabinet posts.
Bhatt shared Markell’s love of bicycling that, along with Congressional action, led to the continuing expansion of the trail system in Delaware. Bhatt dealt with numerous issues at DelDOT, which had seen its share of scandals and controversies that included a questionable real estate transaction in Milford involving a wholesale beer distributor during the tenure of the late Gov. Ruth Ann Minner.