David M. Bonelli

David Bonelli

David Bonelli focuses his practice on complex legal and policy issues surrounding autonomous mobility, electric vehicle transportation, micromobility, healthcare, and labor classification. David has significant experience developing policy strategies for autonomous and electric vehicle transportation, business-government relations, and securing federal contracts and grant opportunities for his clients. David’s legal work includes serving as a senior attorney in the Office of Chief Counsel for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), U.S. Department of Transportation, where he drafted and advised on administration policies, legislation, and rulemaking for highway and motor vehicle safety issues.

During his tenure at NHTSA, David was responsible for representing the agency on oversight, regulatory, budget, and strategic transportation legal and policy matters. He developed regulations for highway and motor vehicle safety programs, including the “Cash for Clunkers” Program. He also served as counsel on a detail to the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, where he assisted in drafting and negotiating surface transportation safety and infrastructure legislation (MAP-21).


Government Experience

  • Senior attorney, Office of Chief Counsel, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
  • Counsel (Detail), U.S. Senate, Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation
  • Honors Attorney, U.S. Department of Transportation




  • J.D. summa cum laude Mitchell Hamline School of Law 2004
    • Notes and Comments editor, Hamline Law Review
    • Associate, Hamline Law Review
  • B.A. English and Psychology Georgetown University 1997

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland


  • U.S. Department of Transportation, Secretary’s Awards
    • Gold Medal, 2016
    • Partnering for Excellence Award, 2005 – 2006, 2009, 2012 – 2014
  • U. S. Department of Transportation, Honors Attorney, 2004 – 2005
  • Mitchell Hamline School of Law, Arnold M. Lyons Award, 2004 (earned the highest academic achievement)
  • Legal 500, Transport – Rail and Road: Litigation and Regulation, 2024