Updated: February 26, 2021
U.S. President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Tuesday announced that Mayor Pete Buttigieg will be nominated to serve as the 19th United States Secretary of Transportation.
The first openly gay major presidential candidate in American history, and one of the youngest ever to win a state primary or caucus, Buttigieg is a barrier-breaking public servant from the industrial Midwest with a track record of trailblazing, forward-thinking executive leadership.
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Mayor Buttigieg vaulted to national prominence due to his success revitalizing his hometown of South Bend, Indiana. First elected at age 29, Mayor Buttigieg worked inclusively and creatively to bring together public, private, and community leaders to restore pride to South Bend and turn the city — once called one of America’s “dying cities” — into a bustling hub of innovation and job growth.
If confirmed as Transportation Secretary, Buttigieg will work to improve the lives of all Americans, and he will bring the same vision and policy acumen that reinvigorated South Bend to the task of implementing President-elect Biden’s Build Back Better agenda, including rebuilding modern, sustainable infrastructure nationwide, creating millions of good-paying union jobs, and tackling the climate crisis by helping to deliver an equitable clean energy future. He would also make history as the first openly gay person confirmed to lead a Cabinet department in our nation’s history.
President-elect Joe Biden said, “Mayor Pete Buttigieg is a patriot and a problem-solver who speaks to the best of who we are as a nation. I am nominating him for Secretary of Transportation because this position stands at the nexus of so many of the interlocking challenges and opportunities ahead of us. Jobs, infrastructure, equity, and climate all come together at the DOT, the site of some of our most ambitious plans to build back better. I trust Mayor Pete to lead this work with focus, decency, and a bold vision — he will bring people together to get big things done.”
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris said, “One of the most important parts of building America back better is ushering in a safe, modern, and sustainable transportation system that helps us grow our economy, tackle our climate crisis, and connect all Americans to jobs and opportunity. Mayor Pete Buttigieg is an outstanding choice to help spearhead this work. An innovative problem solver and trailblazing public servant, Mayor Pete is deeply committed to bringing people together and upgrading our transportation system in a way that serves Americans of all backgrounds and communities of every size — urban and rural — across our country.”
The following White House announcement was made today:
Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Secretary of Transportation
Pete Buttigieg served as the 32nd Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, for eight years. With bold thinking and innovative leadership, Buttigieg revitalized a city that had been struggling for decades after the Studebaker auto company collapsed and was once called one of America’s “dying cities.” He brought South Bend back from the brink, creating thousands of jobs and spurring local investment during his tenure. His “Smart Streets” initiative helped change the fortunes of downtown South Bend — revitalizing the city, redesigning the streets, and bringing in major economic investment.
Buttigieg was a top contender for the 2020 Democratic nomination, the first major openly gay presidential candiate to win a state caucus or primary in American history, and one of the youngest candidates ever to do so. His candidacy brought a relentless focus on reimagining the future of our economy — calling every community to common purpose around creating good jobs and resilient infrastructure for all Americans.
In addition to his service as mayor, Buttigieg was an intelligence officer in the United States Navy Reserve who was deployed to Afghanistan in 2014, eventually earning the rank of Lieutenant. A native of South Bend, Buttigieg graduated from Harvard University and was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University.