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 include 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 leads an agency with more than 55,000 employees and a $70 billion budget that oversees 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, 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
- 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"
- 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.
- June 1, 2011 at 4:09 PM EDT
Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood describes the administration's efforts to make transportation more accessible for everyone. Along with making transportation more accessible, the DOT has stepped up enforcement to ensure every American's right to access transportation.
- May 27, 2011 at 11:34 AM EDT
After President Obama called for a government-wide review to create a regulatory system that is simpler and smarter, the Department of Transportation engages with the public and releases a plan that identifies 70 regulations for action that will reduce burdens and save money.
- May 25, 2011 at 9:48 AM EDT
Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson introduce a new fuel economy labels that will empower car buyers with better information about what they will spend or save on fuel costs when looking to purchase a new vehicle.
- May 9, 2011 at 9:39 AM EDT
Ray LaHood, Secretary of Transportation, anounnces the next steps for high speed rail in 22 carefully selected projects across the country.
- April 12, 2011 at 9:22 AM EDT
Companies like United Streetcar in Portland, Oregon are creating American jobs, improving American clean energy technology, and relieving congestion in American cities.
- April 6, 2011 at 2:19 PM EDT
High-speed rail can be the transportation innovation that drives the economy of the future. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood lays out the benefits of investing in high-speed rail today.
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