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
Caldecott Tunnel Fourth Bore a Stimulus Success Story; Project to Add Desperately Needed Highway CapacityAugust 10, 2010 at 11:59 AM EDT
Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood discusses the nation's second largest highway project supported by the Recovery Act.
- August 3, 2010 at 6:46 PM EDT
Because of the success of students like Chanel Johnson, the U.S. Department of Transportation is expanding its internship program to get more women working in transportation nationwide.
- July 29, 2010 at 11:11 AM EDT
Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood speaks at the Americas Roundtable on Energy and Climate Change at the Biennial of the Americas in Denver.
President Obama Breaks Ground on 10,000th Recovery Act Road Project; Let the Summer of Recovery begin!June 18, 2010 at 4:31 PM EDT
Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood writes about his trip to Ohio with the President. Also check out a new interactive state-by-state map.
- June 14, 2010 at 11:40 AM EDT
Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood discusses how the Recovery Act is helping to make our airports safer.
- May 19, 2010 at 9:39 AM EDT
Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood joins UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice, and Russian Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin in launching a Global Call to Action on Ending Distracted Driving.
- May 14, 2010 at 2:28 PM EDT
Secretary LaHood talks about the new high-rail technology in Japan and China.
- May 11, 2010 at 9:36 AM EDT
Secretary LaHood writes about Merchant Marine Academy grad who helped lead evacuation of Deepwater Horizon.
- April 19, 2010 at 12:14 PM EDT
Secretary LaHood discusses his visit with FAA airport support in Haiti.
- April 9, 2010 at 1:54 PM EDT
Secretary LaHood speaks with man from Gillig Corporation, a manufacturing company that has been helped by Recovery Act grants.