Norman Y. Mineta

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Norman Y. Mineta became the 14th Secretary of Transportation on January 25, 2001.

Mineta was appointed January 2, 2001, by President George W. Bush to be Secretary of Transportation, Department of Transportation. His nomination was sent to the Senate January 24, 2001, and he was confirmed January 24, 2001.

On May 16, 2006, President George W. Bush announced his intention to appoint Mineta to be a Member of the AMTRAK Reform Board, for a five-year term beginning June 28, 2006.

Mineta resigned as Secretary of Transportation effective July 7, 2006. [1]

Mineta "became the first Asian-American Cabinet member during the Clinton administration, [where he served as Secretary of Commerce,] and the first Cabinet member to switch directly from a Democratic to a Republican Cabinet." [2]

DOT Accomplishments

  • "oversaw the Coast Guard's response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, including developing the Sea Marshal Program, Maritime Safety and Security Teams, and expanding the number and mission of Coast Guard Port Security Units." [3]
  • "guided the creation of the Transportation Security Administration, an agency of more than 60,000 employees charged with protecting Americans as they travel across our country." [4]


Prior to joining the Commerce Department in the Clinton administration, Mineta was vice president of the Lockheed Martin Corporation.

According to his official DOT biography, from 1975 to 1995, Mineta "served as a member of U.S. House of Representatives, representing the heart of California's Silicon Valley. ... He co-founded the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus and served as its first chair.

"Mineta served as chairman of the House Public Works and Transportation Committee between 1992 and 1994. He chaired the committee's aviation subcommittee between 1981 and 1988, and chaired its Surface Transportation Subcommittee from 1989 to 1991."

"After leaving Congress, he chaired the National Civil Aviation Review Commission, which in 1997 issued recommendations on reducing traffic congestion and reducing the aviation accident rate. Many of the commission's recommendations were adopted by the Clinton administration, including reform of the FAA to enable it to perform more like a business.

"Secretary Mineta and his family were among the 120,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry forced from their homes and into internment camps during World War II. After graduating from the University of California at Berkeley, Secretary Mineta joined the Army in 1953 and served as an intelligence officer in Japan and Korea. He joined his father in the Mineta Insurance Agency before entering politics in San Jose, serving as a member of its City Council from 1967 to 1971 and mayor from 1971 to 1974, becoming the first Asian Pacific American mayor of a major U.S. city. As mayor, he favored greater control of transportation decisions by local government, a position he later championed in ISTEA.

"While in Congress, Mineta was the driving force behind passage of H.R. 442, the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, which officially apologized for and redressed the injustices endured by Japanese Americans during the war."

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