Prior to forming Elwell & Associates, Dan Elwell was Deputy Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration from June 2017 to November 2020. Before being appointed deputy administrator, Mr. Elwell was a senior advisor to Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. During his tenure as deputy administrator, Elwell served as Acting FAA Administrator from January 2018 until August 2019.
Elwell previously served at the FAA as the Assistant Administrator for Policy, Planning, and Environment from 2006–2008. Earlier in his career, he served as a legislative fellow for the late Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska). From 2013–2015, as Senior Vice President for Safety, Security, and Operations at Airlines for America (A4A), Elwell was responsible for leading the advancement of commercial aviation safety and security excellence for major U.S. air carriers.
From 2008-2013, Mr. Elwell was Vice President of the Aerospace Industries Association. In this role, he represented civil aerospace manufacturers and led policy development and advocacy for the civil aerospace manufacturing industry – more than 300 companies making engines, airframes, space vehicles, satellites, and unmanned aircraft systems.
Elwell was a commercial pilot for 16 years with American Airlines, flying DC-10, MD-80, and B-757/767 aircraft. While maintaining his proficiency as an MD-80 Captain, he served as Managing Director for International and Government Affairs at American Airlines.
Dan earned his pilot wings at Williams Air Force Base in Arizona after graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree in International Affairs. Lieutenant Colonel Elwell retired from military service as a Command Pilot with more than 6,000 hours combined civilian and military flight time in the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Air Force Reserve, including combat service during Operation Desert Storm.
He currently serves on several private and public boards, including Alaska Airlines Group.