|United States Secretary of Transportation|
Seal of the Department
Flag of the Secretary
|United States Department of Transportation|
|Reports to||President of the United States|
with Senate advice and consent
|Term length||No fixed term|
|Constituting instrument||49 U.S.C. § 102|
|Formation||October 15, 1966|
|First holder||Alan Stephenson Boyd|
|Deputy||Deputy Secretary of Transportation|
|Salary||Executive Schedule, level I|
The United States Secretary of Transportation is the head of the United States Department of Transportation, a member of the president's Cabinet, and fourteenth in the presidential Line of Succession. The post was created with the formation of the Department of Transportation on October 15, 1966, by President Lyndon B. Johnson's signing of the Department of Transportation Act. The department's mission is "to develop and coordinate policies that will provide an efficient and economical national transportation system, with due regard for need, the environment, and the national defense." The secretary of transportation oversees eleven agencies, including the Federal Aviation Administration, the Federal Highway Administration, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In April 2008, Mary Peters launched the official blog of the secretary of transportation called "The Fast Lane".
The first secretary of transportation was Alan Stephenson Boyd, nominated to the post by Democratic president Lyndon B. Johnson. Ronald Reagan's second secretary of transportation, Elizabeth Dole, was the first female holder, and Mary Peters was the second. Gerald Ford's nominee William Thaddeus Coleman, Jr. was the first African American to serve as transportation secretary, and Federico Peña, serving under Bill Clinton, was the first Hispanic to hold the position, subsequently becoming the secretary of energy. Japanese-American Norman Mineta, who had previously been the secretary of commerce, is the longest-serving secretary, holding the post for over five and a half years, and Andrew Card is the shortest-serving secretary, serving only eleven months. Neil Goldschmidt was the youngest secretary, taking office at age thirty nine, while Norman Mineta was the oldest, retiring at age seventy four. On January 23, 2009, the sixteenth secretary Ray LaHood took office, serving under the administration of Democrat Barack Obama; he had previously been a Republican Congressman from Illinois for fourteen years. The salary of the secretary of transportation is $199,700.
Anthony Foxx was the 17th US secretary of transportation from 2013–2017, when Barack Obama was the president. Elaine Chao, who served as the secretary of labor under President George W. Bush, was nominated by Donald Trump on November 29, 2016. On January 31, 2017, the Senate confirmed her appointment by a vote of 93–6.
List of secretaries of transportation
|No.||Image||Name||State of residence||Took office||Left office||President|
|1||Alan S. Boyd||Florida||January 16, 1967||January 20, 1969||Lyndon B. Johnson|
|2||John A. Volpe||Massachusetts||January 22, 1969||February 2, 1973||Richard M. Nixon|
|3||Claude S. Brinegar||California||February 2, 1973||February 1, 1975|
|Gerald R. Ford|
|4||William T. Coleman, Jr.||Pennsylvania||March 7, 1975||January 20, 1977|
|5||Brock Adams||Washington||January 23, 1977||July 20, 1979||Jimmy Carter|
|6||Neil E. Goldschmidt||Oregon||August 15, 1979||January 20, 1981|
|7||Drew Lewis||Pennsylvania||January 23, 1981||February 1, 1983||Ronald Reagan|
|8||Elizabeth H. Dole||Kansas||February 7, 1983||September 30, 1987|
|9||James H. Burnley IV||North Carolina||December 3, 1987||January 20, 1989|
|10||Samuel K. Skinner||Illinois||February 6, 1989||December 13, 1991||George H. W. Bush|
|11||Andrew H. Card||Massachusetts||February 24, 1992||January 20, 1993|
|12||Federico Peña||Colorado||January 21, 1993||February 14, 1997||Bill Clinton|
|13||Rodney E. Slater||Arkansas||February 14, 1997||January 20, 2001|
|14||Norman Y. Mineta||California||January 25, 2001||August 7, 2006||George W. Bush|
|15||Mary E. Peters||Arizona||October 17, 2006||January 20, 2009|
|16||Ray H. LaHood||Illinois||January 23, 2009||July 2, 2013||Barack Obama|
|17||Anthony R. Foxx||North Carolina||July 2, 2013||January 20, 2017|
|California||January 20, 2017||January 31, 2017||Donald Trump|
|18||Elaine Chao||Kentucky||January 31, 2017||present|
Line of succession
- Deputy Secretary of Transportation
- Under Secretary of Transportation for Policy
- General Counsel
- Assistant Secretary for Budget and Programs
- Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy
- Assistant Secretary for Governmental Affairs
- Assistant Secretary for Aviation and International Affairs
- Assistant Secretary for Administration
- Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration
- Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration
- Administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
- Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration
- Administrator of the Federal Transit Administration
- Administrator of the Maritime Administration
- Administrator of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration
- Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
- Administrator of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration
- Administrator of the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation
- Regional Administrator, Southern Region, Federal Aviation Administration
- Director, Resource Center, Lakewood, Colorado, Federal Highway Administration
- Regional Administrator, Northwest Mountain Region, Federal Aviation Administration
Living former secretaries of transportation
As of September 2020, there are twelve living, former secretaries of transportation (with all secretaries that have served since 1983 still living), the oldest being Alan S. Boyd (served 1967–1969, born 1922). The most recent secretary of transportation to die was William T. Coleman, Jr. (served 1975–1977, born 1920) on March 31, 2017. The most recently serving secretary of transportation to die was Andrew L. Lewis (served 1981–1983, born 1931), who died on February 10, 2016.
|Name||Term||Date of birth (and age)|
|Alan S. Boyd||1967–1969||July 20, 1922|
|Neil Goldschmidt||1979–1981||June 16, 1940|
|Elizabeth H. Dole||1983–1987||July 29, 1936|
|James H. Burnley IV||1987–1989||July 30, 1948|
|Samuel K. Skinner||1989–1991||June 10, 1938|
|Andrew Card||1992–1993||May 10, 1947|
|Federico Peña||1993–1997||March 15, 1947|
|Rodney E. Slater||1997–2001||February 23, 1955|
|Norman Mineta||2001–2006||November 12, 1931|
|Mary Peters||2006–2009||December 4, 1948|
|Ray LaHood||2009–2013||December 6, 1945|
|Anthony Foxx||2013–2017||April 30, 1971|
- "Biographical Sketches of the Secretaries of Transportation". U.S. Department of Transportation. August 14, 2009. Archived from the original on March 16, 2011. Retrieved January 2, 2010.
- "3 U.S. Code § 19 - Vacancy in offices of both President and Vice President; officers eligible to act". LII / Legal Information Institute.
- "3 U.S.C. § 19 - Vacancy in offices of both President and Vice President; officers eligible to act". Legal Information Institute. Cornell University Law School. External link in
|title=(help); Missing or empty
- Grinder, R. Dale. "The United States Department of Transportation: A Brief History". U.S. Department of Transportation. Archived from the original on July 17, 2004. Retrieved January 2, 2010.
- "A Chronology of Dates Significant in the Background, History and Development of the Department of Transportation". U.S. Department of Transportation. August 14, 2009. Archived from the original on February 15, 2008. Retrieved January 3, 2010.
- "Biographical Sketches of the Secretaries of Transportation". U.S. Department of Transportation. August 14, 2009. Archived from the original on March 16, 2011. Retrieved January 3, 2010.
- "Ray LaHood—Secretary of Transportation". U.S. Department of Transportation. July 22, 2009. Retrieved January 3, 2010.
- "Salary Table No. 2010—Ex". U.S. Office of Personnel Management. Retrieved January 3, 2010.
"5 U.S.C. § 5312 - Positions at level I". Legal Information Institute. Cornell University Law School. External link in
|title=(help); Missing or empty
- Obama, Barack (January 14, 2009). "Executive Order 13485: Providing an Order of Succession Within the Department of Transportation". NASA Online Directives Information System. Retrieved January 2, 2010.
|U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)|
as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
| Order of Precedence of the United States
as Secretary of Transportation
as Secretary of Energy