Meet Our Leadership


Christopher J. Bonanti, CEO

Mr. Bonanti is the CEO of The Baluster Group.

Mr. Bonanti’s expertise involves more than 25 years of professional experience leading and managing regulatory, legislative, safety and infrastructure projects for all modes of transportation, including motor vehicle, rail and aviation. 

As the CEO of the Baluster Group, a boutique consulting firm, he and his staff focus on management, engineering, and regulatory and compliance consulting.  Previously, he was a Director and Senior Managing Consultant at a major consulting firm in D.C. focused on regulatory and compliance matters and their integration into the management and business sectors of transportation.  He also recently served as the Director for Environmental Planning at All Aboard Florida, now Brightline/Virgin Rail, where he was accountable for the management, technical, and strategic direction of the company’s environmental regulatory strategy, schedule, mitigation and permitting processes.

As a former member of the U.S. Senior Executive Service (SES) and the Associate Administrator for Rulemaking at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Mr. Bonanti was the senior executive responsible for developing, writing and implementing rules, regulations, and standards for all ground transportation vehicles sold within the U.S., including the auto, trucking, motor coach, and motorcycle industries. These regulations included all Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS), and the Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency (CAFE) standard regulations for automobiles and light trucks, as well as, fuel efficiency standards for medium and heavy-duty trucks. Mr. Bonanti was responsible for moving the Vehicle to Vehicle (V2V) communication research and agency’s regulations forward as well as coauthored the agency’s original autonomous vehicle policy and guidance for the United States.  He also served as Head of the U.S. Delegation to United Nations World Forum for the Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations. 

Previous work experience included serving as the Director for the Office of Hazardous Materials at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), as a staff member on Committees of both the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives, as a Special Assistant to the Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), as Deputy Executive Director for the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission, and as an investigator-in-charge (IIC) at the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). He is also a former U.S. Marine and served during Desert Shield.  

Mr. Bonanti is a graduate of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, with a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) focused on Finance,
Marketing and Innovation. He has a Master of Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University and a Bachelors of Science from Rutgers University.