The confirmation, made May 3 by unanimous consent, installs Jackson as Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta’s chief assistant, and clears the way for other senior appointments at the department. Expected soon are nominations for the two top jobs at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
Jackson’s confirmation came quickly following his hearing, as predicted by Commerce Committee Chairman Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. At that hearing, Jackson received enthusiastic support from the Senate leadership, including Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., who said Jackson is "an excellent choice."
Jackson’s message to the Commerce Committee echoed that of Mineta at his confirmation hearing: Safety is DOT’s top priority. The other top policy concern at the department is congestion, particularly in the airline business and on the highways. Jackson also told the committee that he, like Mineta, is a proponent of using technology to keep traffic moving.
Jackson comes to the DOT post from Lockheed Martin IMS, where he was in charge of a truck weigh station preclearance program called PrePass. Prior to joining Lockheed Martin IMS in 1997, he was senior vice president and counselor to the president at American Trucking Associations. He served as Chief of Staff at DOT during the previous Bush administration.