“I got to know Pete on the campaign trail. He is one of the smartest people you’ll ever meet and one of the most humble. A mayor from the heartland, a management expert, a policy wonk with a big heart, a veteran, lieutenant in the United States Navy Reserve, an intelligence officer deployed to Afghanistan while he was mayor. A new voice with new ideas, determined to move past old politics,” Biden said at an event in Wilmington, Delaware.
If confirmed by the US Senate, Buttigieg would be the first LGBTQ Cabinet secretary approved by the chamber.
Buttigieg’s selection also represents the first time the President-elect has tapped one of his former Democratic presidential opponents to join his administration as a Cabinet secretary.
The role of transportation secretary is expected to play a central part in Biden’s push for a bipartisan infrastructure package. Buttigieg spearheaded a number of infrastructure projects as mayor, and as a presidential candidate, Buttigieg proposed a $1 trillion infrastructure plan.
The former mayor is seen as a rising star in the Democratic primary and rose to national prominence during the 2020 Democratic primary. Once an unknown mayor of a small city, Buttigieg became a top presidential contender and made history as the first LGBTQ presidential candidate to win primary delegates from a major party.
During his tenure as mayor, Buttigieg in 2014 deployed to Afghanistan as an intelligence officer.
After returning from his deployment in 2015, Buttigieg came out as gay in an essay for the South Bend Tribune while serving as mayor. Later that year, Buttigieg won reelection.
Prior to running for office, Buttigieg was a consultant at McKinsey & Company in Chicago.