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
- September 22, 2011 at 4:07 PM EDT
Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood joins President Obama in calling on Congress to pass the American Jobs Act to put construction workers back on job sites rebuilding roads, rails, and runways across the country.
- September 13, 2011 at 9:58 AM EDT
The American Jobs Act will help put construction workers like Kirk Bergstrom, a construction engineer from Centennial, Colorado, back to work rebuilding America.
- September 7, 2011 at 3:30 PM EDT
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood commends merchant mariners who used their skills and vessels to help evacuate more than 300,000 people from Lower Manhattan on September 11th, ten years ago.
- September 6, 2011 at 6:42 PM EDT
Allowing funding for America's roads and bridges to expire would cost nearly one million construction workers their jobs over the next year. See how many jobs are at stake in your state if Congress fails to pass a clean extension of the transportation bill.
- September 6, 2011 at 2:33 PM EDT
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood commends air traffic professionals who used their training and experience to bring thousands of planes safely out of harm's way on September 11th, ten years ago.
- August 31, 2011 at 2:55 PM EDT
Secretary Ray LaHood joins President Obama in urging Congress to pass an extension of key transportation programs as soon as possible to protect almost 1 million construction jobs and bolster roads, bridges, and railways.
- August 9, 2011 at 3:06 PM EDT
Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood outlines the environmental benefits and $50 billion in savings the new fuel efficiency standards for trucks will achieve.
- August 5, 2011 at 10:20 AM EDT
Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood calls the approval of the FAA bill "a tremendous victory for American workers everywhere"
- August 2, 2011 at 11:20 AM EDT
The Federal Transit Administration has launched a new initiative to ensure that veterans and their families are able to find transportation to work, day care, medical appointments, and other important events in their day-to-day lives
- June 17, 2011 at 12:51 PM EDT
Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood travels to Tennessee, Nevada, and California to check out innovative projects that will make Americans safer, create good jobs for U.S. workers, and help people get where they need to go without suffering at the gas pump.