The following is a statement by Tom Smith, Executive Director, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE):

RESTON, Va. — ASCE joins the transportation community in mourning the loss of a true visionary leader, former U.S. Transportation Secretary Norm Mineta. For his support of infrastructure as Chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and his role in passing the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA), Secretary Mineta was elected as an Honorary Fellow of ASCE in 1993, only the sixth person to be so honored. 

A lifelong public servant, Mineta served in the Army, as the mayor of San Jose, CA, as a 10- term Congressman from California where he also served on the House Public Works Committee and later chaired the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and as the first Asian American Cabinet Secretary, serving first as Commerce Secretary for President Bill Clinton and later becoming Secretary of Transportation under George W. Bush.

The longest serving Secretary of Transportation to date, Mineta is perhaps most well-known for overseeing the creation of the Transportation Security Administration after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

Months after Mr. Mineta’s resignation in 2006, George W. Bush awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. San Jose’s airport was also named in his honor in 2001.

Over the years, Mineta addressed ASCE members at several events, including the precursor to ASCE’s Legislative Fly-In known as ASCE Policy Week. ASCE is grateful for Secretary Mineta’s life of public service and commitment to making our transportation systems safer – both on land and in the air. His work saved countless lives and our country still benefits today from his dedication and commitment to multi-modal transportation policies that help bring communities together. Our deepest sympathies go out to his family.

About the American Society of Civil Engineers

Founded in 1852, the American Society of Civil Engineers represents more than 150,000 civil engineers worldwide and is America's oldest national engineering society. ASCE works to raise awareness of the need to maintain and modernize the nation's infrastructure using sustainable and resilient practices, advocates for increasing and optimizing investment in infrastructure, and improve engineering knowledge and competency. For more information, visit or and follow us on Twitter, @ASCETweets and @ASCEGovRel.