Ray LaHood photo via the Department of Transportation
Ray LaHood photo via the Department of Transportation

Law firm DLA Piper has picked up a big name for its staff, as former secretary of the Department of Transportation and Congressman Ray LaHood has joined the firm as a senior policy adviser.

LaHood will be joining the firm’s Washington, D.C, and Chicago offices. He will be making the move with his former chief of staff, Joan DeBoer, who will join DLA Piper as a policy adviser.

“Secretary LaHood and Joan bring essential government, management and policy experience to the firm that will help us further assist our clients in the areas of infrastructure, structured finance, energy and transportation,” Roger Meltzer, DLA Piper’s co-chairman for the Americas, said in a statement to The Wall Street Journal. “They have significant, firsthand knowledge about some of our economy’s most significant challenges, which will be very important in their new roles.”

LaHood joined President Obama’s cabinet in 2009, shortly after the President’s inauguration. During his time as secretary of the Department of Transportation, LaHood focused on boosting transportation safety, improving existing infrastructure, and tightening automobile fuel efficiency requirements. LaHood also made news for guiding the Department through the furloughs of air-traffic controllers in Spring 2013, which led to thousands of flight delays and cancellations.

Anthony Foxx, the former mayor of Charlotte, N.C., succeeded LaHood as secretary in Summer 2013.

LaHood also previously served in Congress as the representative for the 18th District of Illinois. Despite being a Republican, LaHood holds a close friendship with Chicago mayor Rahm Emmanuel, Obama’s former chief of staff, and his appointment to Obama’s cabinet helped satisfy a pledge to appoint advisers from both parties.


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