Mineta names Whitmer deputy chief of staff

| 2/6/2003

U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta announced Wednesday that Martin T. Whitmer Jr. is DOT's new deputy chief of staff, replacing Vincent T. Taylor, who last month became DOT's assistant secretary for administration.

"I am pleased to advance Martin to deputy chief of staff. He has helped the department move forward on many important issues – most notably surface transportation policy, safety, energy and environmental stewardship," Mineta said.

In addition to his chief of staff role, Whitmer also will serve as the secretary's point person on the reauthorization of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) and the energy bill.

According to press reports, Deputy Transportation Secretary Michael Jackson said the department would unveil its highway reauthorization plan "soon" – but he said the plan would call for $195 billion for federal highway spending over the next six years. The last surface transportation reauthorization bill spent $168 billion over six years on highways.

Whitmer joined DOT in March 2001 as an assistant to the secretary for policy. In that capacity, he advised the secretary on highway, transit, energy, motor carrier and safety issues.

Before that, from 1997 to 2001, Whitmer was the vice president of Government Relations for the American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA), where he directed legislative and coalition activities that helped enact the TEA-21.

Whitmer served as the Republican lobbyist for the Laborers' International Union of North America (LIUNA) from 1994 to 1996. In 1993, he worked for the National Rifle Association and former U.S. Sen. Phil Gramm (D-TX).