With an impeccable 36-year public service career, the Honorable Ray LaHood emerged as a key thought leader on major national policy issues such as transportation, infrastructure and bipartisan leadership. As one of two conservatives in President Barack Obama's first-term Cabinet, the Hon. Ray LaHood served as the 16th U.S. Secretary of Transportation and quickly became known throughout Washington as a bipartisan leader and skilled arbiter. He bridged a bitter partisan divide in the Congress and was able to spur unprecedented progress. Under his leadership, American workers paved 350,000 miles of highway, repaired 20,000 bridges, and laid 6,000 miles of track. Sec. LaHood also demanded more stringent fuel efficiency requirements for automakers and took steps to address airline pilot fatigue.
As Secretary, LaHood oversaw an agency with more than 55,000 employees and a $70 billion budget in charge of air, maritime and surface transportation. Before becoming a Cabinet Official, Sec. LaHood served for 14 years in the U.S. House of Representatives from the 18th District of Illinois (from 1995-2009), and also served on various House committees, including the powerful House Appropriations Committee.
Sec. LaHood brings his vast experience to bear when addressing audiences in any industry. His proven ability to navigate political traffic and serve the interests of varying constituencies, while successfully accomplishing enormous projects, is valuable to any organization that wishes to move forward. Sec. LaHood's presentations will leave audiences inspired by his Midwest values, bipartisan approach and can-do spirit.
Some 120 years ago, former U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood’s grandfather left the small Lebanese village of Aitou for the smaller Illinois town of Peoria. During his career in public service, Congressman and then Secretary LaHood repeated that journey in reverse more than two dozen times – traveling to the Middle East on official government business, to monitor elections, and even to attend his son’s graduation. In this speech, former Secretary LaHood talks about the Arab-American values of family, education, hard work, and fair play. He shares his views on the indispensable contributions of Arab Americans to our national community. He discusses the prospects for peace and democracy across a troubled region with unbreakable ties to the United States.
Former U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood served more than three decades in Washington as a top staffer to House Republican Leader Robert H. Michel, as a seven-term Representative of Illinois’ 18th Congressional District, and as a cabinet official in the administration of President Barack Obama. In this presentation, former Secretary LaHood shares his insider’s view on Congress, the administration, and pressing topics of the day. He provides ideas about how to restore civility and bipartisanship in Washington. And he talks about how Washington used to work – and how it can work (and can put Americans back to work) once again.
When Republican Congressman Ray LaHood agreed to serve in Democratic President Obama’s cabinet, he took the extraordinary step of working for a president he had not even voted for. But this was not the first time that LaHood put civic duty ahead of partisanship. In fact, LaHood had earned a reputation as a champion of civility during his 14 years in the House of Representatives. In this speech, former Secretary LaHood shares his perspective on why too many American officials have lost their ability to disagree without being disagreeable. He details his plan to restore a system of government that rewards bipartisanship instead of punishing it. And he offers a roadmap forward to a more civil, less combative, public discourse.
Under U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood’s leadership, American workers paved 350,000 miles of highway, repaired 20,000 bridges, and laid 6,000 miles of track. At the same time, LaHood faced an unprecedented challenge: the politicization of government investments in jobs building the safest, fastest, most efficient ways to move people and products–a traditionally bipartisan issue. In this talk, former Secretary LaHood shares the high-drama, behind-the-scenes story of how gridlock in our politics has worsened gridlock on the daily commute. He brings his audience into the negotiations as several governors terminated some of our nation’s largest construction projects, as a Tea Party-controlled Congress shut down the FAA, and as Washington’s deadlocked discourse threatened to allow the continued degradation of Americans’ transportation systems. Ultimately, LaHood explains what the politics of infrastructure shows about how the United States government really works (and does not)–and he argues how we can and must repair the infrastructure of our politics.