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
- 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.
- April 1, 2011 at 11:41 AM EDT
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood outlines the positive steps that President Obama's Green Fleet Initiative will make toward reducing America's dependence on foreign oil.
- March 18, 2011 at 5:50 PM EDT
Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood highlights the work the Department of Transportation is doing to make government more open and more efficient.
- March 1, 2011 at 2:25 PM EDT
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood talks about his visit to Proterra in Greenville, South Carolina, and how businesses like Proterra are creating jobs today while building the foundation for the economy of tomorrow.
- January 28, 2011 at 2:38 PM EDT
Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood discusses his visit to Proterra, Inc., in Greenville, S.C. Proterra is using Federal Transit Administration grants to produce fast-charge batteries, and creating clean energy jobs in Greenville.