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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 by Commissioner Bentzel on the Supplemental Order to Fact Finding 29 (International Ocean Transportation Supply Chain Engagement)
Posted: November 20, 2020

I strongly support the issuance of the supplemental order to Fact Finding Investigation 29 (FF29) that builds on the important work my colleague Commissioner Rebecca Dye started over a year ago.  Separately, I have been reviewing issues related to the on-going congestion at the ports of Los Angeles and Long… Read More »

Commissioner Bentzel Briefs the Commerce Department’s Advisory Committee on Supply Chain Competitiveness on Viability of Inland Waterway Shipments Connecting to International Markets
Posted: October 27, 2020

On Thursday, October 22nd, Commissioner Carl Bentzel briefed the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Advisory Committee on Supply Chain Competitiveness (ACSCC) on the viability of building a robust inland waterway network based on the European inland waterway model.  A U.S. inland waterway network that utilizes existing freight capacity could eventually connect… Read More »

Commissioner Bentzel Tours South Atlantic Ports; Hears From Regional Port Leadership, Maritime Companies, and Shippers
Posted: October 5, 2020

Commissioner Bentzel, and his Counsel John Young, visited four ports in five days over the period of September 21-25th, completing a South Atlantic port tour that also included meetings with various maritime and shipping companies in Wilmington, Charleston, Savannah, and Jacksonville (JAXPORT). The purpose of the visits was to better… Read More »

Three Commissioners Participate in NCBFAA Panel: A Conversation with FMC
Posted: September 29, 2020

On Wednesday, September 23rd, Commissioners Dye, Maffei, and Bentzel spoke at a panel hosted virtually by the National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association of America. The Commissioners each spoke for a few minutes and then answered questions from the audience. A wide variety of issues were covered, among them being… Read More »