U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta will speak at the Santa Monica College 74th commencement ceremony Tuesday, June 15th.

About 500 students are expected to receive Associate of Arts degrees at the graduation ceremony, scheduled for 6 p.m. at the college Corsair Field, 1600 Pico Blvd.

Mineta, appointed to his position by President George W. Bush in January 2001, oversees an agency with 60,000 employees and a $56.3 billion budget.

Created in 1967, the U.S. Department of Transportation oversees air, maritime and ground transportation.

In response to the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001, the department oversaw the Transportation Security Administration until last year, when the passenger screening service was transferred to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Prior to joining Bush’s administration, Mineta was a U.S. Commerce Secretary under President Clinton and represented California’s Silicon Valley from 1975 to 1995 in the U.S. House Representatives.

Mineta was the first Asian Pacific American to serve as a presidential cabinet member.

He graduated from the University of California at Berkeley.

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