Norman Y. Mineta
Norman Y. Mineta

Former Secretary of Transportation, U.S. Government

Secretary Norman Y. Mineta is Global Vice Chairman of Hill & Knowlton based in its Washington, DC office. Mineta provides counsel and strategic advice to Hill & Knowlton clients on a wide range of business and political issues.

Mineta is well known for his work in the areas of transportation – including aviation, surface transportation, and infrastructure – and national security. He is recognized for his accomplishments in economic development, science and technology policy, foreign and domestic trade, budgetary issues and civil rights.

Mineta’s career in public service has been both distinguished and unique. Born to immigrant Japanese parents in San Jose, California, Mineta and his family were detained along with 120,000 Americans of Japanese descent at an internment camp during World War II. After graduating from the University of California at Berkeley, Mr. Mineta joined the Army in 1953 and served as an intelligence officer in Japan and Korea. For almost thirty years, Mineta represented San Jose, California – the heart of Silicon Valley – first on the City Council, then as Mayor, and then from 1975 to 1995 as a Member of Congress. Throughout that time, Mineta was an advocate of the burgeoning technology industry. He worked to encourage new industries and spur job growth, and he supported the development of the infrastructure to accommodate the industry and its tremendous growth.

Mineta served as the Chairman of the House Transportation and Public Works Committee from 1992 to 1994, after having chaired the Subcommittee on Aviation and the Subcommittee on Surface Transportation. He was the primary author of the groundbreaking ISTEA legislation – the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991.

In 2000, Mineta was appointed by President Bill Clinton as the United States Secretary of Commerce. At the Department of Commerce, Mineta was known for his work on technology issues, for achieving international cooperation and intergovernmental coordination on complex fisheries issues, and streamlining the patent and trademark process.

Mineta was appointed Secretary of Transportation by President George W. Bush in 2001, where he served until 2006. Following the horrific terrorist acts of September 11, 2001, Mineta guided the creation of the Transportation Security Administration – an agency with more than 65,000 employees – the largest mobilization of a new federal agency since World War II.

Mineta was also a Vice President of Lockheed Martin where he oversaw the first successful implementation of the EZ-Pass system in New York State.

Recognized for his leadership, Mineta has received numerous awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom – our nation’s highest civilian honor – and the Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy, which is awarded for significant public service of enduring value to aviation in the United States.

While in Congress, he was the co-founder of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus and Chair of the National Civil Aviation Review Commission in 1997.

Secretary Mineta is married to Danealia (Deni) Mineta and has two sons, David Mineta and Stuart Mineta, and two step-sons, Robert Brantner and Mark Brantner.