NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- A former U.S. Congresswoman and current assistant director of Public Works for the City of Norfolk has been nominated to lead a federal agency.
The White House announced Wednesday that Thelma Drake had been nominated to be Federal Transit Administrator. The position oversees 3,000 transit agencies nationwide.
Upon Drake's nomination, Norfolk Mayor Kenneth Alexander issued the following statement:
We are extremely proud that Thelma Drake has been nominated to lead the Federal Transit Administration. From her time as my colleague in the General Assembly to her service to the City of Norfolk as assistant director of transportation during my tenure as mayor, many of us have witnessed her commitment to public transportation and skillful development of creative regional transportation solutions.
“From expanded interstate corridors, newly designed roads that enable safe and efficient travel for pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers to light rail and the return of Amtrak service to our city, her impact has been immense. As she takes on a new role, heading an agency that is critical to Norfolk’s success, we hope that there is still much of Thelma’s legacy that has yet to be constructed.
“It is an honor to congratulate Thelma on behalf of city council and her colleagues at city hall. Norfolk is the transportation center of Hampton Roads, and will remain the most multimodal city in Virginia because of her tireless work.”
Drake has previously served as the director of the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation, where she helped implement new processes and performance metrics that streamlined DRPT’s operations and enhanced accountability for its projects. Her work in Virginia included assignments with the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority and the Virginia Railway Express.
Drake is also a former member of the Virginia Commonwealth Transportation Board. She served two terms in Congress representing parts of Norfolk, Virginia Beach, and the Eastern Shore, where she served on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Before that, Drake was in the Virginia House of Delegates, where she was on the Transportation Committee.
With Trump's nomination, Drake will have to go through a confirmation process before she can serve in her new role.