Today President Barack Obama will nominate the mayor of Charlotte, N.C., to the post of transportation secretary.
If confirmed by the Senate, Anthony Foxx will succeed Ray LaHood, who is stepping down from the position. Early media reports paint the Charlotte mayor and former city council member as a bright, up-and-coming leader who has prioritized public transportation projects in the city that he has led for almost four years.
[A] White House official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the announcement had not been made, said, “As mayor of one of America’s most vibrant cities, Anthony Foxx knows firsthand that investing in world-class infrastructure is vital to creating good jobs and ensuring American businesses can grow and compete in the global economy.”
Foxx, whose city hosted the Democratic National Convention last year, has pushed to expand public transit options for Charlotte while serving as mayor. The city has started building the Charlotte Streetcar Project, one of several electric trolley systems underway in the country, and is expanding the LYNX light-rail system so it can reach the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Christopher Leinberger, a professor at the George Washington University School of Business, said Foxx and his team worked closely with Charlotte business leaders to develop economic hubs around the city’s light-rail system.
Mr. Foxx, who was raised by a single mother and his grandparents, became the first black student body president at Davidson College and earned a law degree from New York University. He worked as a lawyer for a private firm as well as for the House Judiciary Committee and the Justice Department before returning to Charlotte to begin his career as an elected politician.
He has said that during his four years as mayor, he has turned around an economically afflicted city, adding 13,000 jobs, making Charlotte more hospitable to business and hosting the Democratic National Convention last year.
While Mr. Foxx does not have a transportation background, he did work as mayor to extend a light-rail line, open another runway at the airport, complete a major highway widening, improve a major bridge and bring streetcars back to Charlotte.
Not only a fan of public transit, Foxx also appears to be enamored with electric vehicles. Last year, he unveiled EV charging stations around the city.