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Cliff L. Rothenstein

Government Affairs Advisor
Fax +1.202.778.9100
Cliff Rothenstein has more than 30 years of congressional and federal executive experience. Prior to joining K&L Gates, he served as Director of Legislative Affairs for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). In this capacity, Mr. Rothenstein worked on a daily basis with the FHWA Administrator, Deputy Administrator, and Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). During Mr. Rothenstein’s tenure at FHWA, he led the development and advocacy efforts on legislation to reauthorize the nation’s surface transportation law where he played a significant role in developing and recommending to the FHWA Administrator and to other DOT executives proposed changes to the law to streamline project delivery and expand investments in highways, bridges, and multimodal transportation projects. Mr. Rothenstein also coordinated FHWA’s discretionary grant programs that fund highway and bridge improvement projects and managed FHWA’s relationships with Congress on highway-specific projects and issues. In addition to his tenure at FHWA, Mr. Rothenstein served as a senior advisor on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee which has jurisdiction over environment and surface transportation issues. He led the Committees efforts on the reauthorization of Superfund, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and the Clean Water and Safe Drinking Water Acts. Mr. Rothenstein also served for 20 years at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), including as the Deputy Assistant Administrator and Director of the Office of Underground Storage Tanks. He has represented clients at the intersection of environmental, energy, transportation, and infrastructure policy and regulation, including advising clients on Superfund, the Clean and Safe Drinking Water Acts, the Water Resources Development Act, and the Clean Air and Resource Conservation and Recovery Acts; National Environmental Policy Act strategies for major transportation and energy infrastructure projects; funding opportunities including TIGER grant funding; and issues related to tolling of interstates.

Professional Background

Before joining K&L Gates, Mr. Rothenstein served most recently as the director of the Office of Legislative Affairs and Policy Communications at the Federal Highway Administration where he served as the primary point of contact with Congress on the surface transportation reauthorization and other legislative and policy matters. In this capacity Mr. Rothenstein advised the Federal Highway Administrator and senior DOT executives on legislation to reauthorize the surface transportation laws, discretionary grant, including TIGER grant issues and on project specific congressional inquiries.

Prior to his work at FHWA, Mr. Rothenstein worked at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as the Deputy Assistant Administrator for Solid Waste and Hazardous Response, the top administration official for Superfund, waste management, brownfields and recycling efforts. Mr. Rothenstein also served as EPA’s director of the Office of Underground Tanks. While with the EPA, he led the agency’s Superfund reauthorization efforts which resulted in the enactment of the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act and the Superfund Recycling Act. He also successfully implemented key provisions of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 regulating gas stations and underground storage tanks.

Mr. Rothenstein also served as a professional staff member for almost a decade on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee under Senator Max Baucus (D-MT). While with the committee, he advised members on virtually all environmental matters including Superfund reauthorization, brownfields, and the Clean Air Act as well as on transportation issues before the committee.