Ray LaHood, who served as U.S. secretary of transportation from 2009 to 2013, is a senior adviser to the Dirksen Congressional Center. He also is co-chair of Building America's Future, which was founded in 2008 to push for improvements in the nation’s infrastructure, and a senior policy adviser for DLA Piper, a global business-law firm.
A Republican, LaHood represented Illinois' 18th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2009. He also served in the Illinois state House from 1982 to 1983 and on the staff of U.S. Rep. Robert H. Michel of Illinois from 1983 to 1994.
LaHood, who earned his bachelor's degree from Bradley University in Peoria, Ill., was a school teacher for six years, director of the Rock Island County Youth Services Bureau from 1972 to 1974, and chief planner of the Bi-States Metropolitan Planning Commission from 1974 to 1977.