Washington President Bush on Tuesday picked Mary Peters to be the nation's new transportation secretary, a Cabinet position that took on more prominence after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
If confirmed by the Senate, Peters, a former federal highway administrator who had explored a run for governor of Arizona, will succeed Norman Mineta, who stepped down in July.
"The secretary of transportation plays an important role in our nation's coordinated efforts to guard against terrorist threats to our aircraft, our seaports and our infrastructure," Bush said. "It is a job that requires vision and strong leadership. Mary Peters is the right person for this job."
Peters spent three years directing the Arizona Department of Transportation, where she worked her way through the ranks during a more than 15-year career there. Since November, she has been national director for transportation policy and consulting in the Phoenix office of HDR Inc., an architectural, engineering and consulting firm based in Omaha, Neb. She was chief of the Federal Highway Administration from 2001 to 2005.
In July, former Kansas Gov. Bill Graves was said to be a leading candidate for the post, but he said he was not interested in the job.