Joan M. Bondareff


    Joan Bondareff focuses her practice on marine transportation, environmental, regulatory, and legislative issues. Joan 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

    Before joining Blank Rome, Joan was chief counsel and acting deputy administrator of the Maritime Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation. She was also former majority counsel for the House Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries. Joan 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.


      Outside the Firm
      • Board Member, Parent-Leadership Training Institute (PLTI) of Alexandria, VA (2012–2017)
      • Advisory Committee, Children’s Hospital of Washington, D.C.


      • Advise international maritime client on federal opportunities, including Coast Guard contracts and renewable energy and represent their interest before Congress.
      • Secured federal legislation to authorize exchange of property from federal government to Alaska Native Corporation.
      • Advise international maritime coalition on compliance with the Jones Act.
      • Represent U.S. shipyards to secure government contracts.
      • Advise clients on offshore wind regulations and legislation, including the Jones Act and assist clients to secure federal energy grants.
      • Advise companies on title XI loan guarantees and grants from the U.S. Maritime Administration.
      • Secured title XI loan guarantee for U.S. shipyard and other developers.
      • Assist clients with obtaining infrastructure grants including TIGER grants.
      • Represented port coalition for obtaining additional funds for port security.
      • Represented a ferry company in environmental matters (“NEPA”) and agency representation.
      • Provided legal advice to a nonprofit boating association.
      • Advise client on how to secure and promote renewable energy credits.

      News & Views

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      • 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
      Professional Activities

      Joan is General Counsel and Secretary, North American Marine Environmental Protection Association (“NAMEPA”).

      Joan is a former member of Women in Government Relations (“WGR“) and served on the Homeland Security and Environment and Energy Task Forces. In September 2014, she was appointed to serve as WGR’s Homeland Security and Defense co-chair. In October 2010, Ms. Bondareff was appointed by Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell to his new Virginia Offshore Wind Development Authority (“VOWDA”). She was reappointed to a new four-year term at VOWDA in December 2013 and again in March 2014.  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 was 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 November 2016, Ms. Bondareff was named chair of the Virginia Offshore Wind Development Authority, of which she previously served as vice-chair.



      • District of Columbia
      • Maryland


      • American University, JD, magna cum laude
      • George Washington University, BS