Sec. Chao’s Revolving Door for Lobbyists at DOT

Chao Names Former Lobbyist To Serve As Federal Highway Administration Acting Deputy 

WASHINGTON — Restore Public Trust issued the following statement after Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao named former lobbyist Mala Parker as the new Acting Deputy of the Federal Highway Administration. 

“Secretary Chao is creating a revolving door for lobbyists to work at the taxpayer’s expense on the very issues their organization’s lobby for and against,” said Lizzy Price, Director of Restore Public Trust. “Parker must publicly recuse herself from any department decisions and rulemaking concerning the industry she lobbied on behalf of. By bringing in insiders with agendas into an agency where safety should be the top priority, Chao is putting private industry ahead of the American people.”

Mala Parker was previously a registered lobbyist for the American Trucking Association (ATA) before she was tapped to serve as the associate administrator for Highway Policy and External Affairs in 2017. Parker also held a leadership position at ATA as the Vice President for Coalitions where she made connections with policymakers and legislators on the group’s behalf. Prior to that Parker served with Secretary Chao at the Department of Labor from 2002-2009.

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