The Hon. Norman Y. Mineta
1931 - 2022
Secretary Norman Y. Mineta’s career in public service has been both distinguished and unique. He served in Congress for over twenty years and was appointed to the Cabinet of both Democratic and Republican presidents.
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. Secretary Mineta was the first Asian American to ever be appointed to a President’s Cabinet. 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 he joined Hill & Knowlton in July 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 honour – 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.
He is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley. Secretary Mineta is survived by his wife Danealia (Deni) Mineta and his two sons, David K. Mineta and Stuart S. Mineta, and two step-sons, Robert M. Brantner and Mark Brantner.