Joel Szabat became Deputy Assistant Secretary (DAS), Office of Aviation and International Affairs (A&I/A) in January, 2018. He is serving in lieu of an Assistant Secretary. Immediately prior to Joel’s assignment to A&I/A, he was the Executive Director of the Maritime Administration, from 2012-2018.
Joel joined the Department of Transportation (DOT) in 2002. His previous positions include DAS, Transportation Policy, and DAS, Management and Budget. He was the federal official responsible for DOT’s $48.1 billion share of the Recovery Act in 2009. In 2005, he oversaw the US government’s reconstruction of Iraqi airports, ports and railroads. Joel was the Chief of Staff for the Small Business Administration from 2006-2008, after which he returned to DOT.
During the Cold War Joel commanded tank units along the East-West German border. He has worked as a management consultant in the private sector, as a transportation staffer in the California State legislature, and in the US Environmental Protection Agency. He graduated from Georgetown University and Harvard Business School. His wife, Chiling Tong, is a prominent Asian Pacific American activist. Together they established a foundation to promote the civic awareness, involvement and effectiveness of Asian Pacific Americans.