WASHINGTON (AP) — The NHL Players’ Association has hired U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh as its executive director.

The union said Thursday its executive board with representatives from all 32 clubs unanimously approved Walsh’s appointment. Walsh will begin his new role in mid-March.

The NHLPA had been searching for a new executive director to take over for Don Fehr since April, when a 10-player search committee was formed to find his successor. Fehr had held the job since December 2010.

“Marty is a proven leader with a strong union background,” said Buffalo Sabres captain Kyle Okposo, who was a member of the search committee. “His energy and ability to connect with players were immediately evident to the search committee. These were the very qualities we were focused on throughout our search for the next executive director. We look forward to the NHLPA’s future under Marty’s leadership.”

A fan of the Boston Bruins, Walsh showed an encyclopedic knowledge of the sport in videos posted online during his tenure from 2014 to 2021 as mayor of Boston.

Walsh, 55, is the first of President Joe Biden’s Cabinet secretaries to leave. He is also the latest politician to shift into sports, following someone Walsh has a close relationship with: former Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, who is taking over as president of the NCAA.