Anthony Foxx

Anthony Foxx

Secretary, U.S. Department of Transportation

Anthony Foxx became the 17th United States Secretary of Transportation on July 2, 2013.

At the U.S. Department of Transportation, Secretary Foxx leads an agency with more than 55,000 employees and a budget exceeding $70 billion. DOT oversees air, maritime, and surface transportation, and the Secretary’s primary goal is to ensure that America maintains the safest, most efficient transportation system in the world for this and future generations.

In 2015, Secretary Foxx refocused the national dialogue about the future needs of our transportation infrastructure by releasing Beyond Traffic, a report examining the challenges facing America’s infrastructure over the next three decades. This draft framework has already influenced decisions by elected officials, planners, and stakeholders nationwide. Beyond Traffic also highlights the importance of giving local governments reliable, long-term funding to plan critical investments in transportation infrastructure. Secretary Foxx championed this goal during hundreds of Congressional meetings, two bus tours, and visits to 43 states before securing a 5-year, bipartisan surface reauthorization bill from Congress in December 2015.

Secretary Foxx has also energized DOT’s embrace of innovation to help solve these challenges.  In December 2015, the Secretary launched the Smart City Challenge, a national competition to implement bold, data-driven ideas that make transportation safer, easier, and more reliable in that city. The Secretary has also worked to accelerate the Department’s efforts to incorporate vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication technology into new vehicles.

Secretary Foxx believes that transportation should not only bring people from one place to another, but should also create opportunities for the places and people in between. He has leveraged the resources of the Department to connect communities to economic opportunity while encouraging land use planners, engineers, and decision-makers to revitalize and reconnect underserved communities. Foxx has hired a Chief Opportunities Officer; launched LadderSTEP, a pilot program in seven cities that provides technical assistance and attracts resources to game-changing community transportation projects; and pressed for Local Hiring Requirements in infrastructure projects to create pathways to jobs.

Secretary Foxx continues to ensure that safety remains the Department’s top priority. He has challenged leaders to raise the bar for bicyclist and pedestrian safety through the Mayors’ Challenge for Safer People and Safer Streets. Other safety gains include a final rule for the safe transportation of flammable liquids by rail, registration for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) to ensure accountability, and changes to the New Car Assessment Program to further protect American drivers.

Foxx joined the U.S. Department of Transportation after serving as mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina, from 2009 to 2013.  As mayor, he made efficient and innovative transportation investments the centerpiece of Charlotte’s job creation and economic recovery efforts.  These investments included extending the LYNX light rail system, the largest capital project ever undertaken by the city; expanding Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, the sixth busiest in the world; working with North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue to accelerate the I-485 outer belt loop using a creative design-build-finance approach; and starting the Charlotte Streetcar project.

Prior to being elected mayor, Foxx served two terms on the Charlotte City Council as an At-Large Representative.  As a Council Member, Foxx chaired the Transportation Committee, where he helped shepherd the largest transportation bond package in the city’s history. He also chaired the Mecklenburg-Union Metropolitan Planning Organization.

Foxx is an attorney and has spent much of his career in private practice.  He also worked as a law clerk for the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, a trial attorney for the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, and staff counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary.

Foxx received a law degree from New York University’s School of Law as a Root-Tilden Scholar.  He earned a bachelor’s degree in History from Davidson College.

Foxx and his wife, Samara, have two children, Hillary and Zachary.

Closing Keynote

Auditorium, Lerner Hall

Anthony Foxx sparks dialogue around city developments and initiatives that are by and for communities — and that represent the interests of those who have been marginalized by policies of the past. New York City is at the heart of some of the most discriminatory planning, yet is also a hub of innovation and energy around creating opportunity. “Transportation […]