In a sign that under the Biden administration, the Department of Transportation will play a prominent role in helping push the greening of the American economy, President-Elect Joe Biden has announced that Mayor Pete Buttigieg will be nominated to serve as the 19th United States Secretary of Transportation.
A statement from Biden’s transition office notes that Buttigieg was the “first openly gay major presidential candidate in American history, and one of the youngest ever to win a state primary or caucus” and describes him as “a barrier-breaking public servant from the industrial Midwest with a track record of trailblazing, forward-thinking executive leadership.”
First elected as mayor of South Bend, Ind., at age 29, Buttigieg is credited with turning what was once called one of America’s “dying cities” into a bustling hub of innovation and job growth.
“Mayor Pete Buttigieg is a patriot and a problem-solver who speaks to the best of who we are as a nation,” said Biden. “I am nominating him for Secretary of Transportation because this position stands at the nexus of so many of the interlocking challenges and opportunities ahead of us. Jobs, infrastructure, equity, and climate all come together at the DOT, the site of some of our most ambitious plans to build back better.”
Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris said, “One of the most important parts of building America back better is ushering in a safe, modern, and sustainable transportation system that helps us grow our economy, tackle our climate crisis, and connect all Americans to jobs and opportunity. Mayor Pete Buttigieg is an outstanding choice to help spearhead this work.”
In addition to his service as mayor, Buttigieg was an intelligence officer in the United States Navy Reserve who was deployed to Afghanistan in 2014, eventually earning the rank of Lieutenant. A native of South Bend, Buttigieg graduated from Harvard University and was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University.