DLA Piper hires former US Department of Transport secretary and his chief of staff

DLA Piper has announced that former US Department of Transportation secretary Ray LaHood has joined the firm as a senior policy adviser in the Washington DC and Chicago offices. Joan DeBoer, LaHood’s former chief of staff, will also join the firm as a policy adviser.

With a 36-year public service career, 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.

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 the US’s infrastructure included 350,000 miles of highway, the repair of 20,000 bridges and 6,000 miles of laid track.

LaHood also achieved more stringent fuel-efficiency requirements from automakers, took steps to address airline pilot fatigue and turned the problem of distracted driving into a national concern. As secretary of transportation, he oversaw an agency with more than 55,000 employees and a $70bn (£42bn) 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 LaHood on all aspects of transportation policy.