Joan M. Bondareff


Joan Bondareff focuses her practice on marine transportation, environmental, 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

Prior to 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.


  • Advisor 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.



  • 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 a member of Women in Government Relations ("WGR") and serves 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, Joan 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, Joan 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, Joan 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 November 2016, Joan 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