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Carl Bentzel sworn in as Federal Maritime Commissioner

Written by Nick Blenkey
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FMC Chairman Michael A. Khouri (left) administers oath of office to Commissioner Bentzel (right) who is joined by his wife, Suzanne Bentzel (center)

A long-time prominent participant in Washington, D.C., maritime policy debates, Carl W. Bentzel, was yesterday sworn in to serve as a Commissioner of the Federal Maritime Commission for a term expiring June 30, 2024. He was nominated to the position on June 12, 2019 and confirmed by the Senate on November 21, 2019.

Bentzel began his career in 1990 serving as Counsel on the House Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries for the Democratic staff. He then served as the Senior Counsel, Democratic Staff, for the Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine (Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation) from 1995-2004. In the latter assignment, he was involved in the passage of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 1998 and served on the Presidential Advisory Commission on Conferences in Ocean Shipping.

Following his tenure in the Legislative Branch, Bentzel was a private sector executive working on policy issues and projects related to the transportation, shipping, and energy sectors.

“I join my colleagues in welcoming Commissioner Bentzel to the Federal Maritime Commission. Given his long experience in Washington in general, and experience with shipping and competition issues in particular, I am confident he will make important and positive contributions to the work of this agency,” said Chairman Michael A. Khouri.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to serve as a Commissioner. This is a particularly meaningful appointment as I have had such a long association with the FMC. The first issue that I was assigned to cover as a staffer on the House Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries was the Federal Maritime Commission, and I have long recognized the incredible value that the maritime industry plays in our nation’s economy. During my tenure as a Congressional staffer, I recognized the need for dedicated expertise to oversee the complexities of international maritime trade, and I am looking forward to my term on the Commission and contributing to the vital work the agency does to ensure a competitive and reliable international ocean transportation supply system that supports the U.S. economy and protects the public from unfair and deceptive practices,” said Bentzel.

Bentzel is a graduate of St. Lawrence University (B.A., History), University of Alabama School of Law (J.D.), and Tulane University (L.L.M., Admiralty Law). He is married and has two children.

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