Carl W. Bentzel - Federal Maritime Commission
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Carl W. Bentzel

Counsel: John Young
Contact Information
Phone: 202-523-5723 Email:


Commissioner Carl Bentzel was nominated by President Trump on June 12, 2019, to a term expiring on June 30, 2024. The United States Senate confirmed his nomination on November 21, 2019, and he was sworn into office on December 9, 2019.

Prior to his appointment at the Federal Maritime Commission, Commissioner Bentzel created and established a consulting services company where he represented clients on regulatory and legislative issues within the areas of transportation, energy and other areas of federal regulatory oversight. From 2004-2014, Commissioner Bentzel served as Vice President and head of the federal advocacy division of a full-scale public relations firm, the DCI Group.

Prior to working in the private sector, Mr. Bentzel served the public sector for ten years as a Senate professional committee staffer including, most recently, as Senior Democratic Counsel of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation. He moved to his role in the Senate after spending four years on the House Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee where he served as Counsel for Maritime Policy.

Commissioner Bentzel’s primary areas of responsibility on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation were issues on maritime transportation; rail, surface and pipeline transportation; energy transportation and hazardous materials; and homeland security in these areas.  While working in the Senate, Commissioner Bentzel served as one of the principals in crafting the Maritime Security Act of 1996, the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 1998, and in 2002, after the attacks on 9/11, the requirements mandated for maritime security through the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002.  He also dealt with matters impacting economic regulation of rail and surface industries before the Surface Transportation Board, and a variety of energy related regulatory issues.

For his efforts in developing and negotiating passage of Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002, Commissioner Bentzel was awarded the Coast Guard’s Medal for Meritorious Public Service and the Maritime Security Council’s Man of the Year award.  Mr. Bentzel is also the author of the chapter on Port Security within McGraw-Hill’s Handbook on Homeland Security.

Commissioner Bentzel earned his Bachelor of Arts from St. Lawrence University, his Juris Doctor from the University of Alabama, and his Master of Laws from the Admiralty Law Institute, Tulane University.

Related Articles

Statement of Commissioner Carl W. Bentzel on Letter to President Biden on Suggested Relief for Impacted Workers and Companies Due to the Francis Scott Key Bridge Collapse
Posted: April 23, 2024

Today, I sent a letter to President Biden thanking him for his quick response to the tragic Key Bridge collapse in Baltimore. During the pandemic, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, commonly referred to as the CARES Act. Section 4112 of that legislation authorized and provided… Read More »

Statement by Commissioner Carl W. Bentzel On The Release of the Second Request for Information for the Maritime Transportation Data Initiative
Posted: April 18, 2024

On April 16, 2024, my second Request for Information (RFI) for the Maritime Transportation Data Initiative (MTDI) was published in the Federal Register. This is another important step in my effort to develop a transparent information sharing process that will improve the reliability and predictability of the shipment of international… Read More »

Statement of Commissioner Carl W. Bentzel on the Port of Gulfport Roundtable
Posted: April 11, 2024

On March 27, 2024, Commissioner Carl W. Bentzel participated in an industry roundtable hosted by the Port of Gulfport. “I want to thank the Port of Gulfport for inviting me to participate in a timely port roundtable that included Gulfport Mayor Billy Hewes, Congressman Mike Ezell, and representatives from Ports… Read More »

Statement By Commissioner Carl W. Bentzel on the Puerto Rico Manufacturers Association’s Inaugural Supply Chain & Logistic Summit
Posted: April 2, 2024

Commissioner Carl W. Bentzel travelled to Puerto Rico in February 2024 to provide the keynote speech to the Puerto Rico Manufacturers Association at their inaugural Supply Chain and Logistics Summit. In his remarks, Commissioner Bentzel discussed how conditions in the Red Sea and the Panama Canal are impacting shipping and… Read More »