The U.S. Senate on Saturday, Sept. 30, confirmed Mary Peters as secretary of transportation, succeeding Norman Mineta, who was the longest-serving DOT secretary. Peters was federal highway administrator under President Bush for four years, until she stepped down in 2005 to join HDR Inc., an engineering firm based in Omaha, Neb. Before her first Bush appointment, Peters was transportation director for the state of Arizona.
Peters also is a member of the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Commission, tasked by Congress with examining the condition and future needs of the nation’s surface transportation system and coming up with alternatives to fuel taxes for highway funding.
“Mary is an innovative thinker who will work with state and local leaders to confront challenges and solve problems,” Bush said shortly after Peters’ confirmation. “I look forward to working with her to reduce highway and aviation congestion, modernize our nation’s infrastructure and increase the efficiency of travel in our country.”
Bill Graves, American Trucking Associations president and chief executive officer, echoed Bush’s sentiments. “On behalf of the trucking industry, I congratulate Mary Peters on her confirmation as the new secretary of transportation,” Graves said Monday, Oct. 2. “Mary is a leader whose knowledge of our nation’s transportation system makes her a strong advocate for infrastructure improvements. We look forward to working with Mary to design and implement a strategy that moves transportation forward safely and efficiently.”
The U.S. transportation secretary, a member of the president’s Cabinet, is in charge of the U.S. Department of Transportation, which includes such high-profile agencies as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Aviation Administration.