Ray LaHood joins UChicago Institute of Politics' Board of Advisors

Former U.S. Secretary of Transportation and seven-term Republican congressman brings extensive experience in public service

The University of Chicago Institute of Politics announced Tuesday that former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood will be joining the Institute's Board of Advisors.

"With his long and distinguished career in public service, Secretary LaHood epitomizes a spirit of bipartisanship and ethics that undoubtedly will inspire our students," said David Axelrod, director of the Institute of Politics. "We are thrilled he will be joining our Board of Advisors to help us continue in our mission to raise up the next generation of leaders."

LaHood, 67, served as President Obama’s transportation secretary from 2009 to 2013. During his tenure, he launched a measure to curb distracted driving and called for more investment in high-speed rail. LaHood also supported an aviation safety bill that mandated new aviation safety and consumer protections. Prior to joining the Obama Cabinet, LaHood served seven terms as a Republican congressman from Illinois, during which time he earned a reputation as a solutions-oriented legislator who worked across party lines to accomplish policy goals. He began his career in public service as a middle-school social studies teacher.

"Having answered the call of public service at an early age, I am excited to join the Institute of Politics in its mission to spark an interest in politics in young people," LaHood said. "I look forward to joining the Institute’s Board of Advisors to encourage our future leaders to a life of public service."

LaHood joins the Institute of Politics' founding Board of Advisors, a group of policy leaders of various backgrounds and political affiliations, including David Brooks, AB'83, columnist, The New York Times; Julián Castro, mayor of San Antonio; Stephanie Cutter, former deputy campaign manager, Obama for America; Larry Grisolano, partner, AKPD Media; Doris Kearns Goodwin, biographer, historian and political commentator; Brad Keywell, co-founder of Lightbank and Groupon; Bill Kristol, founder and editor of The Weekly Standard; Isaac Lee, president of news, Univision; Mike Murphy, Republican political consultant; Beth Myers, former senior advisor to Gov. Mitt Romney; Deval Patrick, governor of Massachusetts; David Plouffe, former senior advisor to President Obama; Neera Tanden, president, The Center for American Progress; Bernard Winograd, AB'70, president, The Tricoastal Foundation; and Howard Wolfson, AB'89, deputy mayor, New York City.

The Institute of Politics, which officially opened its doors in January 2013, has had an exceptional inaugural year. In its first nine months, it welcomed 159 notable speakers; presented 114 events and provided more than 160 paid, public service internships in various areas—from legislative offices to think tanks to news agencies. For more information, see politics.uchicago.edu.

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Ray LaHood

Former U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood

Courtesy of Department of Transportation

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