President Obama to name Charlotte mayor as transportation chief
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (CNN) — President Barack Obama will tap Anthony Foxx, the mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina, on Monday to become his next transportation secretary, a White House official with knowledge of his decision said Sunday.
If confirmed by the Senate, Foxx would replace Ray LaHood, who said in January he wouldn’t serve a second term. LaHood has said he will remain in his post until a successor is confirmed.
Foxx, first elected mayor in 2009, helped lead last summer’s Democratic National Convention in the Queen City.
He also championed the completion of an additional runway at the Charlotte/Douglas International Airport, though Foxx doesn’t have any specific experience as a transportation executive. Earlier this month, Foxx announced he wouldn’t seek re-election at Charlotte’s mayor.
“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,” the White House official said.
Foxx will be the first African-American Cabinet nominee of Obama’s second term. Currently, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is the only African-American to lead a Cabinet agency.
The initial Cabinet picks of Obama’s second term — Secretary of State John Kerry, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew – were all white men. After receiving criticism for the lack of diversity, Obama named several women to prominent roles, including Sylvia Mathews Burwell as director of his budget office and Mary Schapiro as the chief of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Criticism of Obama’s second-term Cabinet picks arose during Saturday’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner, when comedian Conan O’Brien joked that the president’s hair was “so white, it could be a member of your Cabinet.”