Carl Bentzel

U.S. Federal Maritime Commission

Commissioner

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; 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.

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.

Sessions With Carl Bentzel

Monday, 16 May

  • 10:15am - 10:45am (PST) / 16/may/2022 05:15 pm - 16/may/2022 05:45 pm

    Resilience of Ports and Maritime Supply Chains: The US Regulator’s Perspective

    If there is anyone in Washington, D.C., who has a long view of U.S. shipping law and regulation, it’s Carl Bentzel. While working as a senior Senate committee staffer, Commissioner Bentzel played a key role crafting the Maritime Security Act of 1996, the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 1998, and, after the 9/11 attacks, the requirements mandated for maritime security through the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002. He has seen the trajectory of the U.S. maritime landscape from one dominated by U.S.-flag carriers including Sea-Land and APL to today’s environment where shippers are ascendant and dominating the terms of political debate in ways that will have a lasting impact on the industry. In a historic moment for U.S. shipping law and policymaking, with Congress likely to enact a new Ocean Shipping Reform Act and with new ideas such as data and information seen as a possible solution to improving cargo flow, Commissioner Bentzel will put it into perspective in conversation with JOC Senior Technology Editor Eric Johnson.