Ray LaHood became the 16th Secretary of Transportation on January 23, 2009. Secretary LaHood’s primary goals in implementing President Obama’s priorities for transportation included safety across all modes, restoring economic health and creating jobs, sustainability – shaping the economy of the coming decades by building new transportation infrastructure, and assuring that transportation policies focus on people who use the transportation system and their communities.
As Secretary of Transportation, LaHood led an agency with more than 55,000 employees and a $70 billion budget that oversaw air, maritime and surface transportation missions.
Secretary LaHood said he would bring President-elect Obama’s priorities to the Department and see them effectively implemented with a commitment to fairness across regional and party lines and between people who come to the issues with different perspectives.
Before becoming Secretary of Transportation, LaHood served for 14 years in the U.S. House of Representatives from the 18th District of Illinois (from 1995-2009). During that time he served on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and, after that, on the House Appropriations Committee. Prior to his election to the House, he served as Chief of Staff to U.S. Congressman Robert Michel, whom he succeeded in representing the 18th District, and as District Administrative Assistant to Congressman Thomas Railsback. He also served in the Illinois State Legislature.
Before his career in government, Former Secretary LaHood was a junior high school teacher, having received his degree from Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. He was also director of the Rock Island County Youth Services Bureau and Chief planner for the Bi-States Metropolitan Planning Commission in Illinois.
LaHood and his wife, Kathy, have four children (Darin, Amy, Sam, and Sara) and nine grandchildren.
Secretary Ray LaHood's Posts
- May 14, 2012 at 12:00 PM EST
The Department of Transportation launches a national dialogue on strengthening transportation choices for America’s military veterans, wounded warriors, and their families.
- April 23, 2012 at 1:48 PM EST
Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood annouces a massive pipeline modernization project that will promote the safe and reliable delivery of energy resources across the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions of the United States.
- February 16, 2012 at 11:52 AM EST
Secretary Ray LaHood celebrates the Champions of Change who are improving America's infrastructure through innovation
- February 14, 2012 at 10:24 AM EST
President Obama's 2013 Budget reflects the central role of transportation in the lives of Americans and in the vitality of our nation's economy
- January 9, 2012 at 5:13 PM EST
The 2012 Detriot Auto Show offers an impressive display of innovation, but more importantly celebrates the resurgence of the American auto industry.
- January 3, 2012 at 7:04 PM EST
New legislation will help keep America's communities safer and give pipeline operators the certainty they need to run their systems more effectively
- December 16, 2011 at 3:02 PM EST
The Department of Transportation continues its TIGER grant program, sending $511 million to 46 transportation projects in 33 states.
- November 21, 2011 at 4:41 PM EST
Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood speaks to leaders of the National Puerto Rican Coalition about the transportation provisions in the American Jobs Act. These would provide an immediate investment in construction jobs upgrading 150,000 miles of road; laying and maintaining 4,000 miles of train tracks; restoring 150 miles of runways; and putting in place a next-generation air traffic control system that will reduce travel times and delays.
- November 2, 2011 at 12:49 PM EST
Speaking in front of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, President Obama urged Congress to pass the infrastructure provisions in the American Jobs Act.
- October 5, 2011 at 10:18 AM EST
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood calls on Congress to pass the American Jobs Act to create jobs and invest in American infrastructure.