Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to Step Down
As President Obama reorganizes his Cabinet for his second term in office, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood will leave the administration. The move has long been anticipated. Less certain is who will replace him. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who served as chairman of last year's Democratic National Convention, and Deborah Hersman, the chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, have been named as possible replacements. The latter would not only bring a female profile otherwise lacking in the new administration, but she also offers solid experience. Known as "Aviation's Iron Lady," Hersman has extensive background as head of the NTSB. Hersman has been widely quoted for her comment that the NTSA serves as "the conscience and the compass of the transportation industry." Her full agency bio can be found here.
LaHood, a former Republican congressman, was one of President Obama's efforts at bipartisanship in his first term. LaHood championed personal driver responsibility and better infrastructure in the form of roads and bridges. The transportation secretary will, among other things, oversee the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the auto industry. He or she will definitely be i the driver's seat in the ongoing debates over fuel efficiency and safer cars.