Rodney Slater served as US Secretary of Transportation in the Clinton Administration. Before being named Secretary in 1997, Mr. Slater was Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration, where he created the National Highway System. From 1987 to 1992, he was a member of the Arkansas State Highway Commission, serving as its chairman in 1992.
As Secretary, Slater truly focused on leadership. He strove to make the US Department of Transportation visionary and vigilant, and he engaged all employees to work toward transportation excellence. Through the Garrett A. Morgan program, Mr. Slater touched 3 million young people and introduced them to the challenges and rewards of transportation.
Mr. Slater grew up in Marianna, Arkansas, one of the poorest areas in America. He graduated from Eastern Michigan University and earned a law degree at the University of Arkansas. In 1994, Eastern Michigan presented him its Black Alumni Achievement Award.
The Rodney Slater Award is awarded annually to a student who demonstrates outstanding leadership qualities amidst life’s challenges and adversity, a thirst for knowledge, and a drive to achieve.
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