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Federico Peña

Federico Peña
8th United States Secretary of Energy
In office
March 12, 1997 – June 30, 1998
President Bill Clinton
Preceded by Hazel R. O'Leary
Succeeded by Bill Richardson
12th United States Secretary of Transportation
In office
January 21, 1993 – February 14, 1997
President Bill Clinton
Preceded by Andrew Card
Succeeded by Rodney E. Slater
41st Mayor of Denver
In office
1983 – June 1991
Preceded by William H. McNichols, Jr.
Succeeded by Wellington Webb
Colorado House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
Born (1947-03-15) March 15, 1947
Laredo, Texas
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Cindy Velasquez (previously married to Ellen Hart Peña)
Children Nelia Peña
Cristina Peña
Ryan Peña
Alma mater University of Texas-Austin

Federico Fabian Peña (born March 15, 1947) was United States Secretary of Transportation from 1993 to 1997 and United States Secretary of Energy from 1997 to 1998, during the presidency of Bill Clinton.


  • Early life 1
  • Political career 2
  • Post Government 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Early life

Born in Laredo, Texas, Peña earned a B.A. (1969) and a J.D. (1972) from the University of Texas at Austin and The University of Texas School of Law, respectively.

Political career

Moving to Colorado, where he became a practicing attorney, Peña was elected to the Colorado House of Representatives as a Democrat in 1979, where he rose to become Minority Leader. In 1983, Peña defeated a 14-year incumbent, William H. McNichols, Jr. to become the first Hispanic Mayor of Denver, a post to which he was re-elected in 1987.

Peña advised

Political offices
Preceded by
William H. McNichols, Jr.
Mayor of Denver
Succeeded by
Wellington Webb
Preceded by
Andrew Card
U.S. Secretary of Transportation
Served under: Bill Clinton

Succeeded by
Rodney Slater
Preceded by
Hazel R. O'Leary
U.S. Secretary of Energy
Served under: Bill Clinton

Succeeded by
Bill Richardson

External links

  1. ^ Peña Cuts 11,000 jobs at Transportation Department, Washington Post, December 20, 1996 [4]
  2. ^ Peña Resigns as Energy Secretary, Citing Concerns for Family, NY Times, April 7, 1998 [5]
  3. ^ Secretary of Transportation Will Not Face a Prosecutor, NY Times, March 17, 1995 [6]
  4. ^ CNN Political Ticker: All politics, all the time Blog Archive - Clinton cabinet member backs Obama « - Blogs from
  5. ^ Sweet, Lynn Jarrett, Podesta, Rouse to lead Obama transition; Bill Daley co-chair Chicago Sun-Times, November 5, 2008
  6. ^


On October 26, 2011 Peña was elected to serve as a member of the Board of Directors of Wells Fargo.[6] Pena was appointed to the University of Denver Board of Trustees in June of 2015.

On September 7, 2007, Peña announced that he would endorse Senator Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election, and also serve as Obama's National Campaign Co-chair. The move was notable in that Peña did not endorse Senator Hillary Clinton, the wife of the president under whom he served.[4] On November 5, 2008, he was named to the advisory board of the Obama-Biden Transition Project.[5]

Peña was a National Co-Chair of the Compete Coalition. Today he serves on several corporate boards and is involved in several philanthropic organizations.

Peña is the father of three children: Nelia, Cristina, and Ryan Peña. The divorce of Federico Peña and his first wife, Ellen Hart Peña, became final on September 10, 2001. Federico Peña married Cindy Velasquez on September 2, 2006. Cindy Velasquez is a former broadcast executive for Channel 7, KMGH-TV, and Channel 9, KUSA-TV, in Denver, Colorado and has a daughter, Pilar.

Peña Boulevard, a freeway in Denver and neighboring Aurora connecting Denver International Airport to Interstate 70, is named for him. As mayor of Denver, Peña led the effort to build the airport. In addition, Peña's vision ("Imagine a Great City") resulted in the revitalization of Denver economy with a new convention center, modernized Cherry Creek Shopping Center, neighborhood retail efforts, expanded library and performing arts center, and recruitment of the Colorado Rockies major league baseball team.

Upon leaving the Clinton administration, Peña returned to Denver. In August 1998 he joined private equity firm Vestar Capital Partners where he is a Senior Advisor.

Post Government

During his time as mayor in the late 1980s and early 1990s, he was instrumental in bringing the Colorado Rockies to Denver in 1993.

As Secretary of Energy for 18 months, Peña led an organization of 16,000 direct employees with a budget of $18 Billion. He developed the Administration's Comprehensive National Energy Strategy and oversaw the largest privatizations in the history of the U.S Government—the $3.654 Billion sale of the Elk Hills Oil Field, formerly known as Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 1. He crafted the Clinton Administration's strategy for oil and gas development in the Caspian Sea region and supported U.S. energy companies' investments around the world. Although he had intended to leave Clinton's cabinet after a single term, Peña also served as Secretary of Energy from 1997 to 1998.[2] In 1995 the Justice Department conducted a preliminary investigation into a California transit agency's awarding of a pension management contract to Peña's former investment management firm. However, Peña had severed all ties to his former company both prior to the contract and prior to becoming Transportation Secretary. On March 17, 1995 Janet Reno ended the investigation.[3]

He implemented the first international aviation policy for the U.S. since the Carter Administration. This strategy opened up aviation markets around the world, contributing to the revitalization of the aviation industry. He travelled extensively throughout the world to assist U.S. transportation companies access global markets. [1]

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