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DLA Piper announced last week that former US Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has joined the firm as a senior policy advisor in the Washington, DC, and Chicago offices. Joan DeBoer, Secretary LaHood's former chief of staff, will also join the firm as a policy advisor.
With a 36-year public service career, Secretary LaHood has a wide depth of experience on major national policy issues such as transportation and infrastructure. He served as the 16th Department of Transportation Secretary from 2009 to 2013 and quickly became known as a bipartisan leader and skilled conciliator in a highly partisan environment. His tenure was marked by landmark efforts to improve safety in every mode of transportation, from aviation and rail to pipelines and automobiles. Under his leadership, improvements to America's infrastructure included 350,000 miles of highway, repair of 20,000 bridges, and 6,000 miles of laid track. As Secretary of Transportation, he oversaw an agency with more than 55,000 employees and a $70 billion budget in charge of air, maritime and surface transportation.
DeBoer served as chief of staff of the US Department of Transportation from 2009 to 2013. In this role, she helped oversee the department's budget and employees, while also providing strategic counsel to Secretary LaHood on all aspects of transportation policy.
Roger Meltzer, co-chairman (Americas) of DLA Piper, said:
"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. They have significant, firsthand knowledge about some of our economy's most significant challenges, which will be very important in their new roles."
Ignacio Sanchez, co-chair of the Regulatory and Government Affairs practice, said:
"There is no substitute for hands-on experience and that is what Secretary LaHood and Joan bring to DLA Piper. We look forward to utilizing their talents on a variety of projects involving the intersection of government and business."