“What Can Be Better”: Thoughts On Service And Leadership From The 17th Secretary of Transportation

Secretary Anthony R. Foxx


Secretary of Transportation Anthony R. Foxx grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina with his mother, and his grandparents who were both school teachers. During the summer of his junior year in high school, he attended the “July Experience” at Davidson College, and felt sufficiently challenged that he chose to attend Davidson. He majored in history, calling it “the broadest way to study human experience.” In college, he made a point of associating with a variety of different groups. He was elected to student council as a freshman, and he became the student body president as a senior. Following college, he attended the New York University School of Law, where he earned his Juris Doctor degree. He held a variety of jobs as a lawyer before becoming a staff lawyer for the United States House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, and was in a hearing at the Capitol on September 11, 2001. Returning to Charlotte, he worked at a law firm, and then decided to run for city council. He was a long shot, but he won. He served two terms on the city council, and was serving as mayor of Charlotte when President Obama nominated him as Transportation Secretary. He has served in that position since 2013. In this interview, Secretary Foxx talks about his upbringing, formative experiences, his college years, and his career. He describes making the decision to run for city council, and some of the issues he worked through on the council and as the mayor. He discusses his tenure as the Secretary of Transportation, and ties it back to his life experience. Finally, he explains what service and the American dream mean to him.


interviewer Rick Black
date 13 January 2017


name Secretary Anthony R. Foxx
institution Davidson College / New York University School of Law
graduation year 1993 / 1996
unit Department of Transportation, US Government
specialty 17th Secretary of Transportation