Charlotte Mayor Foxx Said to Be Next U.S. Transport Chief

Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx
Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx was elected to a second term as mayor in 2011 and he served as a member of Charlotte’s city council from 2005 to 2009. Photographer: Ramin Talaie/Bloomberg

President Barack Obama will nominate Charlotte, North Carolina, Mayor Anthony Foxx, a Democrat, to lead the Transportation Department, according to a White House official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The nomination will be made tomorrow, said the official. Foxx, two-term mayor, has led efforts to improve his rapidly growing city’s transit infrastructure.

Obama is rounding out his Cabinet for the second term. He also was close to choosing Mike Froman, currently the deputy national security adviser for international economics, as U.S. Trade Representative, two people familiar with the matter said April 26.

Froman’s nomination along with that of Chicago businesswoman and Obama fundraiser Penny Pritzker as Commerce secretary may be announced this week, another person familiar with the matter confirmed. The person asked not to be identified, citing the private nature of the deliberations.

Foxx, 41, was elected to a second term as mayor in 2011. He served as a member of Charlotte’s city council from 2005 to 2009. He also practived law law with the firm of Hunton & Williams LLP.

Charlotte broke ground on the Charlotte Streetcar Project, to bring modern electric tram service to the city, as well as the Charlotte Regional Intermodal Facility, connecting freight from Charlotte to global ports, according to background provided by the White House. The city opened a third parallel runway at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, and moved to extend the LYNX light-rail system to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Al Killefer, a spokesman for Foxx, didn’t immediately respond to a voicemail seeking comment on the possible nomination.

Final Vetting

Froman, a Harvard Law School classmate of Obama’s and former executive at Citigroup Inc., is in final vetting for the position, according to people who asked not to be identified in discussing personnel matters. He would succeed Ron Kirk, who left in March, as the president seeks free-trade accords with Pacific nations and the European Union.

The trade representative position carries the rank of ambassador and is a member of the cabinet. The nominee is subject to Senate confirmation.

Pritzker, whose family built the Chicago-based Hyatt Hotels Corp. chain, has been a longtime Obama ally and served as finance chairman for his 2008 campaign. Her name was circulated for the Commerce job shortly after Obama was elected and she issued a statement saying she wasn’t interested in the position.

Pritzker’s finances -- she has a net worth estimated at $1.8 billion, according to Forbes magazine’s list of the 400 richest Americans -- have complicated the screening process.

Obama has yet to fill the post of the head of the Small Business Administration.

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