Meridiam, the global infrastructure investor, announced today that former United States Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood will be a Senior Advisor to Meridiam North America and provide strategic guidance to the firm.
Founded in 2005, Meridiam is an independent investment firm specialized in the development, financing, and management of long-term public infrastructure projects. With offices in Paris, New York, Toronto and Istanbul, Meridiam is a leading investor in public infrastructure in Europe and North America. Currently managing €2.8 billion ($3.5 billion) of assets, the firm has to date invested in 32 PPP projects.
Secretary LaHood has over three decades of experience dealing with major national transportation and infrastructure policy issues. From January 2009 to July 2013, he served in the Obama Administration as the 16th Secretary of Transportation. He quickly became known as a bipartisan leader and skilled conciliator in an otherwise highly partisan environment.
Under his leadership, America's infrastructure quality was dramatically enhanced: 350,000 miles of highway received improvements, 20,000 bridges were repaired, and 6,000 miles of rail track were laid. Secretary LaHood successfully managed over 55,000 employees and a $70 billion budget, while continuously stressing environmental and safety improvements in all modes of transportation.
Meridiam's CEO and founding partner Thierry Deau, said:
"We are honored Secretary LaHood has decided to join Meridiam. His broad experience in transportation and infrastructure in the United States will be a valuable asset to the company. "
Jane Garvey, Meridiam North America Chairman, said:
"I am looking forward to working with Ray LaHood. Ray is a deeply respected expert on infrastructure in the United States."
Prior to heading the Department of Transportation, Secretary LaHood served from 1995 to 2009 in the U.S. House of Representatives from the 18th District of Illinois. Secretary LaHood also served on various House committees, including the House Appropriations Committee and the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. From 1982 to 1994, he served as the Chief of Staff to U.S. House Minority Leader Robert Michel. Before arriving in Washington, D.C., he was Director of the Rock Island County Youth Services Bureau from 1972 to 1974, Chief Planner of the Bi-States Metropolitan Planning Commission from 1974 to 1977, and District Administrative Assistant for U.S. Congressman Tom Railsback from 1977 to 1982.
He earned his B.S. degree from Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois.