Secretary Norman Y. Mineta is well known for his work in transportation – including aviation, surface transportation, and infrastructure – and national security. He is recognized for his accomplishments in economic development, science and technology policy, foreign and domestic trade, budgetary issues and civil rights, as well as his perspective from having served in Congress for over 20 years and in the Cabinets of both Republican and Democratic presidents.
For almost 30 years, Secretary Mineta represented San Jose, California – the heart of Silicon Valley – first on the City Council, then as Mayor, and then from 1975-1995 as a Member of Congress. Throughout that time, Secretary Mineta was an advocate of the burgeoning technology industry. He worked to encourage new industries and spur job growth, and he supported infrastructure development to accommodate the industry and its tremendous growth.
Secretary Mineta served as the Chairman of the House Transportation and Public Works Committee from 1992-1994, after having chaired the Subcommittee on Aviation and the Subcommittee on Surface Transportation. He was the primary author of the groundbreaking ISTEA legislation – the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991. While in Congress, he co-founded the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus and was Chair of the National Civil Aviation Review Commission in 1997.
In 2000, Secretary Mineta was appointed by President Bill Clinton as the United States Secretary of Commerce. At the Department of Commerce, Secretary Mineta was known for his work on technology issues, for achieving international cooperation and intergovernmental coordination on complex fisheries issues, and streamlining the patent and trademark process.
From 2001-2006, Secretary Mineta served as Secretary of Transportation by President George W. Bush. Following the terrorist acts of September 11, 2001, Secretary Mineta guided the creation of the Transportation Security Administration – an agency with more than 65,000 employees – the largest mobilization of a new federal agency since World War II.
Recognized for his leadership, Secretary Mineta has received numerous awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom – our nation’s highest civilian honor – and the Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy, which is awarded for significant public service of enduring value to aviation in the United States.
He is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley.