Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx was sworn in as the nation’s 17th Secretary of Transportation by Judge Nathaniel Jones in a private ceremony at U.S. Department of Transportation headquarters. The ceremony was attended by Foxx’s wife, Samara, and their two children, Hillary and Zachary, and used a Bible belonging to Secretary Foxx’s great-grandparents. His nomination was confirmed by the full U.S. Senate in a unanimous vote of 100-0 on June 27.
In a written message to all employees, Foxx underscored his commitment to safety:
“Safety will remain our top priority at DOT. At the same time, I will work to improve the efficiency and performance of our current transportation system while building the infrastructure we need for future generations,” said Secretary Foxx. “In doing so, I look forward to bringing my ‘on the ground’ experiences as a mayor, while embracing the tremendous knowledge, skill and ingenuity of the DOT workforce and our many stakeholders.”
As Secretary of Transportation, Foxx leads an agency with more than 55,000 employees and a $70 billion budget that oversees air, maritime and surface transportation.
Prior to his confirmation, Foxx served as the mayor of Charlotte, N.C., from 2009 to 2013. During that time, he made efficient and innovative transportation investments the centerpiece of Charlotte’s job creation and economic recovery efforts. These investments included extending the LYNX light rail system, expanding Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, and starting the Charlotte Streetcar project. Prior to being elected mayor, Foxx served two terms on the Charlotte City Council as an at-large representative, where he chaired the Transportation Committee.
He takes the helm of the department at a challenging time, with MAP-21 set to expire in 15 months and predictions that the Highway Trust Fund will be nearly depleted by 2015. NSSGA said that it “looks forward to working with the new secretary to find a long-term funding solution to ensure the solvency and stability of the HTF in the future.”