Wednesday, December 9, 2009
President Names California Attorney to Head Maritime Agency
By a MetNews Staff Writer
President Obama has said he intends to nominate California attorney David T. Matsuda as administrator of the Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration.
Obama on Monday announced his intention to nominate Matsuda—who has served as deputy and acting administrator since July—to lead the agency within the Department of Transportation that deals with waterborne transportation and maintains the National Defense Reserve Fleet as a ready source of ships for use during national emergencies.
Any nomination to the position is subject to confirmation by the U.S. Senate.
According to its website, the Maritime Administration promotes the development and maintenance of a U.S. merchant marine “sufficient to carry the nation’s domestic waterborne commerce and a substantial portion of its waterborne foreign commerce, and capable of serving as a naval and military auxiliary in time of war or national emergency.”
It also seeks to ensure the maintenance of adequate shipbuilding and repair services, efficient ports, effective intermodal water and land transportation systems, and reserve shipping capacity for use during national emergencies.
Matsuda is a graduate of Harvey Mudd College and the University of San Diego School of Law, and was previously deputy assistant secretary for policy at the Department of Transportation. Before that, he spent more than seven years working in the U.S. Senate, including time on the staff of U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg, D-N.J.
Matsuda was admitted to the State Bar in 1992, but has been on inactive status since 2004.
As deputy assistant secretary, Matsuda was the department’s chief policy adviser focusing on surface transportation reauthorization, maritime matters, labor issues and high-speed rail. He also oversaw projects including the rollout of two new infrastructure grant programs.
While working in the Senate, he helped draft and secure passage of transportation legislation, including modernization of oil pollution prevention and response programs, an overhaul of the nation’s passenger rail system and security improvements at U.S. seaports.
In addition to his time on Lautenberg’s staff, Matsuda has served on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation’s Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety, and Security; was part of the Office of Chief Counsel at the Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration; and was a Georgetown University Government Affairs Institute Fellow.
Copyright 2009, Metropolitan News Company