United States Secretary of Transportation

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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.[1] 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.[2] 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."[2] The Secretary of Transportation oversees eleven agencies, including the Federal Aviation Administration, the Federal Highway Administration, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.[2] In April 2008, Mary Peters launched the official blog of the Secretary of Transportation called The Fast Lane.[3]

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 Secretary of Energy. Japanese American Norman Mineta, who had previously been Secretary of Commerce, is the longest-serving Secretary, holding the post for over five and a half years,[2] 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.[4] On January 23, 2009, the sixteenth and current 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.[5] The salary of the Secretary of Transportation is $199,700.[6]


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