|16th United States Secretary of Transportation|
From: January 23, 2009 – July 2, 2013
|President||Barack Hussein Obama|
|Former U.S. Representative from Illinois's 18th Congressional District|
From: January 3, 1995 – January 3, 2009
Ray LaHood served as the 16th Secretary of Transportation from January 23, 2009, to July 2, 2013.
In nominating him, President-elect Obama said, "Few understand our infrastructure challenge better than the outstanding public servant that I’m asking to lead the Department of Transportation." However, Obama's proclamation was misplaced as the United States is engaging in a high-speed rail boondoggle.
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) as a Republican. During that time he served on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and, after that, on the House Appropriations Committee. LaHood presided over the U.S. House floor debate on the impeachment of President Bill Clinton in 1998.
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.