Posted by Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao
Fifty years ago, on April 1, 1967, USDOT opened its doors, consolidating under one roof the operations of 31 separate transportation-related entities. This week, we hosted at USDOT an “open house” to commemorate the Department’s 50th anniversary, celebrate USDOT’s achievements, and reaffirm our commitment to addressing the challenges of today and advancing the best possibilities for the future.
Over 500 people gathered together in the atrium, including former Secretaries of Transportation Elizabeth Dole, Mary Peters and Norm Mineta, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee John Thune, Chairman of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Bill Shuster, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, Michael Sacco, president of the Seafarers International Union of North America/AFL-CIO, other distinguished guests, friends from the Department of Labor and USDOT colleagues.
The occasion was enhanced by the presence of transportation icons (vintage cars, a semi-truck, motorcycle), reminders of our core safety mission (crash test dummies) and examples of cutting-edge transportation technology (including autonomous vehicles and a drone). It was a festive, informative and inspiring event. It was also a formal kickoff to my tenure as the Secretary of Transportation, which could be characterized as a career “full circle,” as my first full-time job in public service was with USDOT.
I’m as excited by the mission and potential of USDOT today as when I first walked in the door at the old Nassif Building headquarters. I am joined in this can-do spirit by my dedicated colleagues at USDOT. With infrastructure improvement at the forefront of this administration, USDOT is well-positioned to help do great things for our country!
Speakers at the USDOT 50th Anniversary Celebration & Welcoming Ceremony: Rep. Bill Shuster - Chairman of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, Michael Sacco – President of the Seafarers International Union of North America/AFL-CIO, Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao, former Secretary of Transportation and U.S. Senator Elizabeth Dole, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. U.S. Senator John Thune, Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, delivered the opening remarks and then had to rush back to the Senate to preside over the confirmation hearing of Jeffrey Rosen, the President’s nominee for Deputy Secretary of Transportation.