On January 1, 2023, Joel Szabat joined Strong Port Strategies (SPS) as the President of Aviation Strategies.
After nearly 30 years of federal service, Joel retired in November 2022 from the US Department of Transportation, where he served as the Assistant Secretary for Aviation & International Affairs (AIA) and concurrently served as the Acting Under Secretary of Transportation for Policy, the third-highest position in DOT.
“Of all the opportunities he has before him, I am thrilled that Joel chose to join us,” said Lauren Brand, CEO of Strong Port Strategies.
“Joel’s experience as a senior federal executive, and the respect he has earned across industry and in Congress, enables SPS to expand its services from maritime to include aviation.”
Starting in 2018, Joel led AIA as either the Assistant Secretary or Deputy.
He took measures during COVID to ensure continued air service nationwide and helped the Essential Air Service and Small Community Air Service Development Programs weather the pandemic.
He approved airline joint ventures that promoted competition and negotiated Air Service Agreements to ensure US passenger and cargo airlines could compete equitably in foreign countries.
“Lauren is universally respected for her maritime acumen,” said Joel. “I am excited to be able to support her efforts and to help expand SPS’ services to assist aviation and intermodal clients as well.”
Joel also brings a strong maritime, rail, and supply chain background to SPS.
As the senior career official in the Maritime Administration for six years, Joel advocated for a strong US-flag merchant fleet and coordinated with Defense agencies to meet their overseas logistics requirements. He also represented the Secretary of Transportation on the Amtrak Board of Directors. President Biden recently nominated Joel to serve on the Amtrak Board in his own right.