Buttigieg would be the first Senate-confirmed LGBTQ cabinet secretary if his nomination passed through the chamber.
The choice makes a candidate that Biden spoke glowingly about after the Democratic primary a top job in the upcoming administration and could earn Buttigieg what many Democrats experience is needed if he runs for president again.
The role of transportation secretary is expected to play a central role in Biden’s pursuit of a dual infrastructure package.
Buttigieg is seen as a rising star in the Democratic Party, but one who had no clear path to elected office given the ongoing shift to the right of his home state of Indiana.
Other Democrats were also eligible for the post, including former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, and Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo.
After ending his presidential campaign earlier this year, Buttigieg backed Biden and spent much of the general election headlining fundraisers and events for the former vice president.
“I know this may not mean much to most people, but to me it’s the highest compliment I can give a man or woman,” said Joe Biden at the time.
Before running for president, Buttigieg had served as mayor of South Bend since 2012. In 2019 he was not looking for re-election.
During his tenure as mayor, Buttigieg was deployed to Afghanistan in 2014 as an intelligence officer.
Before joining the office, Buttigieg was a consultant with McKinsey & Company in Chicago.
This story is beginning and will be updated.
CNN’s Kate Sullivan contributed to this report.