Joe Biden picks Pete Buttigieg for transportation secretary

President-elect Joe Biden will nominate Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, to lead the Department of Transportation, adding a young-generation voice to his team, said a person familiar with Biden’s deliberations.

Buttigieg, 38, fought a fierce battle for the Democratic nomination but bowed out and endorsed Biden in his bid for the presidency. The two men bonded during the general election campaign and the president-elect made it clear that he wanted to find a place for the former mayor in his administration.

If he is confirmed by the Senate, Buttigieg would become the first openly gay person to serve as a Cabinet secretary, shattering a barrier and contributing to Biden’s promise to make his administration “look like America.” Under President Donald Trump, Richard Grenell, who is also openly gay, served as acting director of National Intelligence, a Cabinet-level post. But he did not face Senate confirmation as the acting leader.

A Navy veteran, Buttigieg could have led the Department of Veterans Affairs. But Biden decided instead to put him in charge of transportation, which is likely to become a key part of the administration’s efforts to combat climate change with aggressive actions on emissions. Reuters earlier reported Biden’s choice of Buttigieg.