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
- January 21, 2011 at 2:50 PM EST
Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood discusses the Department of Transportation's efforts toward greater sustainability and a cleaner environment.
- October 28, 2010 at 10:05 AM EST
The Obama Administration and the Department of Transportation are awarding $2.4 billion for planning and construction of intercity passenger rail service. With these 54 projects in 23 states, we're moving full-speed ahead toward a nationwide high-speed rail system.
- October 25, 2010 at 1:22 PM EST
Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson announce a proposal for the first national standards for greenhouse gas emissions and fuel efficiency for medium and heavy-duty trucks, vans, and buses.
TIGER II Grants to 75 Innovative Projects Will Change the Transportation Landscape, Create Jobs in 40 StatesOctober 21, 2010 at 10:33 AM EST
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood writes about the funding of 75 innovative new projects that will put people to work today building a 21st century foundation for tomorrow's economic growth.
DOT Online Map Collects Voices of the Recovery Act; Workers Encouraged to Upload Their Own Video StoriesOctober 6, 2010 at 10:21 AM EST
Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood introduces the new DOT map of videos from workers across the country talking about what the Recovery Act has done for them.
- September 23, 2010 at 12:12 PM EST
Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood discusses his experience attending Canton Junior College and the upcoming White House Summit on Community College.
- September 8, 2010 at 10:26 AM EST
The Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency produce new vehicle fuel economy labels and ask for public feedback on the proposed designs.
- September 7, 2010 at 2:23 PM EST
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood looks at the President's new proposals on infrastructure along with what the Administration has already accomplished.
- August 30, 2010 at 10:08 AM EST
Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood discusses what has been achieved since Hurricane Katrina, the ongoing work to restore area communities, and the department's continued commitment to helping Gulf residents rebuild.
- August 23, 2010 at 9:48 AM EST
Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood lets Illinois State fairgoers know what the Administration has been up to in the fight against distracted driving.