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Carl W. Bentzel

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 Bentzel on Maritime Shipping and Coronavirus Impacts
Posted: March 13, 2020

Update 3/25/2020: Commissioner Bentzel updated his statement to reflect recent actions. The updates are in bold. The maritime industry has been deeply affected as a result of the upheaval caused by the coronavirus and its impacts to Chinese manufacturing and logistics services. Ocean carriers have been forced to cancel services… Read More »

Statement of Commissioner Bentzel on the South Atlantic Chassis Pool Agreement
Posted: February 21, 2020

Commissioner Carl W. Bentzel voted to allow the amendment adding the Ports of Jacksonville and Wilmington to join the South Atlantic Chassis Pool Agreement (the Agreement). Joining the agreement will allow these ports to benefit from the system of managing chassis utilization and implementing chassis roadability upgrades. Allowing this amendment… Read More »

Commissioners Bentzel & Maffei Travel to Houston, Texas
Posted: February 18, 2020

Last month, Commissioners Carl W. Bentzel and Daniel B. Maffei traveled to Houston, Texas to present at the National Association of Waterfront Employers Annual Meeting and meet with industry stakeholders. As a result of this trip, the Commissioners gained a greater understanding of the ongoing issues in the Houston area…. Read More »

Carl Bentzel joins FMC as 42nd Commissioner
Posted: December 9, 2019

Carl W. Bentzel was sworn-in today as the 42nd individual 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. Commissioner Bentzel began his… Read More »