— Governor Jack Markell’s nominee for Secretary of the Delaware Department of Transportation, Shailen Bhatt (pronounced “SHAY-Linn BAT”), was confirmed by the Delaware Senate this afternoon.
“I would like to thank the members of the Delaware Senate, including the Executive Committee, for their confidence in Shailen to lead the Department of Transportation,” said Governor Markell. “Transportation plays a part in the lives of all Delawareans, and DelDOT plays an important role in the vitality of our state. Shailen understands the opportunities that await him – and he has the experience, intelligence, energy and integrity to move DelDOT forward.”
“Every Delawarean depends on a well-managed transportation system that moves people and goods efficiently and safely as they go about their daily lives. They also want a system that is accountable, transparent and managed with adherence to the highest ethical standards. As Secretary, I will bring about greater collaboration between the residents of Delaware and our excellent staff in meeting these standards and addressing our state’s varied transportation needs,” said Mr. Bhatt, who has served in senior transportation posts at the local, state and federal levels.
Mr. Bhatt currently serves as Associate Administrator at the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), U.S. Department of Transportation. Through the Federal Aid Highway Program, the FHWA supports State and local governments in the design, construction, and maintenance of the nation’s highway system.
For the last two years, Mr. Bhatt has been responsible for setting policy and managing relationships with members of Congress and has been leading FHWA’s efforts in re-authorizing the nation’s surface transportation legislation. He also played a key role in establishing the Federal Highway Administration’s signature initiative on accelerated project delivery, called Every Day Counts (EDC).
Before joining FHWA, Mr. Bhatt served as a Deputy Executive Director with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC). Prior to that, he was Director of the Bowling Green/Warren County, Kentucky Metropolitan Planning Organization. He holds a degree in Economics from Western Kentucky University. Mr. Bhatt intends to reside in Delaware with his wife, Neelam.