Transportation Secretary-Designate: Norman Y. Mineta
Mineta, the first Democrat to be nominated for the Bush Cabinet, is currently the U.S. Secretary of Commerce. Nominated to the post by President Clinton, Mineta, 69, assumed the position in July 2000, taking over for William Daley, who left to chair Vice President Gore’s presidential campaign.
Mineta was the first American of Asian ancestry to serve in a presidential Cabinet. Before the commerce appointment, Mineta was vice president of special business initiatives at Lockheed Martin Corporation.
Mineta has an extensive public service record. He is a former member of the House of Representatives, first elected in 1974 to represent Silicon Valley. In Congress he founded the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus and served as its first chair. He also chaired the House Committee on Public Works and Transportation.
In 1971 Mineta was elected mayor of San Jose, California, his hometown. Before that, he was San Jose’s first Asian Pacific American city council member.
Mineta is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley. During World War II, Mineta and his family were among roughly 120,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry who were forced into internment camps.
As Secretary of Transportation, Mineta would oversee the federal interstate highway system, as well as airline regulations, and international transportation agreements.