Chicago, IL – The Obama campaign announced the endorsement today of former Energy Secretary Federico Pena and named him a National Campaign Co-Chair. Pena was the Mayor of Denver in the 1980’s before President Clinton selected him to serve as the Secretary of Transportation and later the Secretary of Energy in the 1990’s. Pena will also attend the Univision Democratic Presidential Candidate Forum on Sunday in Miami, Florida.
“I look forward to working with Federico to bring about the transformation this country desperately needs. His vision for change as Mayor of Denver and his strong record on energy and transportation issues brings invaluable experience to our team,” said Senator Barack Obama.
“I have spent years working with Presidential administrations and world leaders and what I see in Barack Obama is the kind of judgment this country needs to usher in a new era of global leadership. The challenges we are facing in Colorado, in the Hispanic community and across the country are formidable and it is time for bold and thoughtful leadership in the White House, ” said Secretary Federico Pena.
In 1983, Pena upset a 14 year incumbent Mayor to become Denver’s first Hispanic Mayor. He proved to be one of Denver’s most ambitious mayors working to provide the city with a world class international airport, a major league baseball team, a new convention center and numerous economic development and infrastructure additions throughout the city. Because of his great success he was selected by President Bill Clinton to serve as the Transportation Secretary through the end of the first term and later served as the Secretary of Energy. In those capacities, he supported investments in transit and highway projects, developed a new international aviation policy opening new routes throughout the globe, and helped restore damaged infrastructure during the California Northridge earthquake and Gulf Coast hurricane in the 1990s.
He was the first U.S. Cabinet official to visit Vietnam after relations were normalized in the l990s. As Secretary of Energy, he helped develop our energy strategy in the Caspian Sea and was involved in negotiations with Russia on plutonium reductions and fortifying unguarded nuclear facilities in the former Soviet Union. Since l999, Mr. Pena has been actively involved in business as a Managing Director of Vestar Capital Partners, a private equity fund headquarted in New York, with offices in Boston, Denver, Paris, Milan, Munich and Tokyo. Mr. Pena has served on several corporate boards. Among his various civic involvements, he is the lead co-chair of “A+ Denver”, a 100 member citizens committee dedicated to improving the Denver Public Schools.