President-elect Joe Biden has nominated Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana and presidential candidate, as his transportation secretary.
As Secretary of Transportation, Buttigieg will lead the Department of Transportation in its efforts to ensure the safety and efficiency of the U.S. transportation system. He will also take a leadership role in maintaining and enhancing the nation's infrastructure.
Buttigieg, a Democrat, was sworn in as mayor of South Bend in 2012 and was, at the time of his election, the youngest U.S. mayor serving a community of more than 100,000 residents. After serving two terms, he did not run again and left office on January 1, 2020.
Buttigieg officially announced his presidential campaign in April of 2019. He had previously run unsuccessfully for the chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee at 2017. Considered a relative political unknown prior to his presidential campaign, Buttigieg nonetheless set himself apart as the youngest candidate in the Democratic primary and as the first openly gay person to launch a presidential campaign. Soon after dropping out of the race in March of 2020, Buttigieg endorsed Biden.
Buttigieg is viewed as likely to advance president-elect Biden's ambitious agenda on both infrastructure repair and climate change. Buttigieg may take a more climate-centric approach than some of his predecessors, particularly as the Department of Transportation has authority to regulate vehicle emissions. Although a relative outsider in the area of transportation, Buttigieg adds diversity to the cabinet as its first openly gay member.
Early Career and Education
Before running for public office, Buttigieg was an intelligence officer in the Navy Reserve who served in Afghanistan as well as a consultant for McKinsey & Company.
Buttigieg earned a bachelors degree at Harvard University and went on to study at Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship.