Joan Mitchell DeBoer served as the Chief of Staff of the US Department of Transportation from January 2009 to July 2013, helping to lead an agency with more than 55,000 employees and a US$70 billion budget that oversees air, maritime and surface transportation missions. As Chief of Staff, she provided strategic advice and daily counsel to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood on all aspects of transportation policy and helped manage the daily global operations of the Department of Transportation.

Ms. DeBoer was the Secretary's primary liaison with the White House and other federal agencies. In that capacity, she played a senior DOT role in presidential initiatives such as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (TIGER grants, Cash for Clunkers program), high-speed rail and historic CAFE standards.  She also served on the Presidential Task Force of the Auto Industry.  
Previously, Ms. DeBoer served over 18 years on Capitol Hill in various capacities. She was Deputy Chief of Staff to US Congressman Ray LaHood, and also served as an Appropriations Associate to the House Appropriations Committee. Early in her career, she served as a Legislative Assistant to House Republican Leader Robert Michel. Her 23 years of public service are rich with management, budget and legislative policy experience.  
Ms. DeBoer received her B.A. from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1990. She serves on the board of trustees of Illinois College in Jacksonville, Illinois.  She also serves on the board of directors of Building America’s Future.