Foxx in as USDOT head

The US Senate confirmed Anthony Foxx as the new US secretary of transportation.

Anthony Foxx has been cleared to take charge of the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) following a 100-to-0 vote in the US Senate.

President Barack Obama nominated Foxx to be secretary of transportation in April, a selection that went for the most part unchallenged on Capitol Hill.

The 42-year-old Foxx is replacing Ray LaHood, a Republican politician from Illinois who earned acclaim for his four-year stint heading the Department with Obama, a Democrat, going so far as to suggest LaHood ranked as “the best secretary of transportation we ever had”.

LaHood, who is 67, announced his retirement from public office in January.

Foxx appeared on the US political landscape in 2009 – just as LaHood assumed control of USDOT – winning a tightly contested election to become mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina, a financial services hotbed in the south.

Elected to a second term in 2011, Foxx as mayor of Charlotte broke ground on a controversial street car project. He also weighed in on a debate over whether Charlotte Douglas International Airport should be run by an agency rather than the city.

Prior to running for public office, Foxx was a lawyer in private practice, working for law firm Hunton & Williams.

As the 17th secretary of transportation, Foxx is inheriting a 55,000-person agency with a $70 billion budget. In a statement, Foxx said he relished “building the infrastructure we need for [the] future”.