• District of Columbia
  • Maryland


  • American Bar Association
  • Bar Association of the District of Columbia
  • Maryland Bar Association
  • Propeller Club
  • Women In Government Relations
  • Women's Bar Association
  • Women's Transportation Seminar


  • American University, JD, magna cum laude
  • George Washington University, BS
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Joan M. Bondareff

Of Counsel

Washington, DC v. +1.202.772.5911 f. +1.202.572.8358

Joan Bondareff focuses her practice on marine transportation, environmental, and legislative issues. Ms. Bondareff represents clients in many industries and state and local governments in matters related to:

  • maritime regulations and public policy
  • environmental law
  • government relations
  • international law
  • federal grants
  • port security

Prior to joining Blank Rome, Ms. Bondareff was chief counsel and acting deputy administrator of the Maritime Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation. She is also former majority counsel for the House Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries. Ms. Bondareff served on the Obama Transition Team for the Department of Transportation handling maritime related issues. She worked on the OPA 90 legislation, and also helped develop the Natural Resource Damage Assessment regulations when she was the assistant general counsel for Ocean Services at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.


  • Advise pipeline companies on DoT/PHMSA regulations.
  • Assist companies in securing TIGER and FASTLANE grants from DoT.
  • Adviser to clients on TIGER grants.
  • Represented port coalition for obtaining additional funds for port security.
  • Counsel for association requiring relief from federal laws.
  • Represented ferry company in environmental matters (“NEPA”) and agency representation.
  • Provided legal advice to nonprofit boating association.
  • Assisted freight service company in securing federal grants.


In July 2014, Ms. Bondareff received a certificate of appreciation from the American Bar Association’s International Legal Resource Center and the United Nations Development Program for advice she gave to the Republic of Fiji on new mining laws.

In December 2013, Ms. Bondareff was appointed to the Pool of Experts of the Regular Process for Global Reporting and Assessment of the State of the Marine Environment, including Socioeconomic Aspects (commonly referred to as the “Regular Process”). Members of the Pool of Experts are appointed through the United Nations. The task of the first cycle of the Regular Process is to produce the first integrated marine assessment of the world’s oceans and seas by 2014, commonly referred to as the “World Ocean Assessment.” In July 2017, she was asked to continue this work on the next World Ocean Assessment due in 2020.

In June 2016, Ms. Bondareff was named secretary to NAMEPA (North American Marine Environment Protection Association). She also serves as Legal Counsel to NAMEPA, a pro bono client of Blank Rome LLP.

In July 2017, Ms. Bondareff was reappointed by Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe to a new four-year term on the Virginia Offshore Wind Development Authority (“VOWDA”), where she has been chair since November 2016. Ms. Bondareff has served on the Authority since Governor Bob McDonnell appointed her to the newly created group in October 2010.