The program said Monday LaHood will sit on the institute's board of advisers, The Hill reported.
"With his long and distinguished career in public service, Secretary LaHood epitomizes a spirit of bipartisanship and ethics that undoubtedly will inspire our students," Axelrod said in a statement. "We are thrilled he will be joining our board of advisers to help us continue in our mission to raise up the next generation of leaders."
LaHood, a Republican, said he was excited to join the institute.
"Having answered the call of public service at an early age, I am excited to join the Institute of Politics in its mission to spark an interest in politics in young people," LaHood said in a statement.
Former Charlotte, N.C., Mayor Anthony Foxx succeeded LaHood as transportation secretary.
LaHood was transportation secretary from 2009 until earlier this year. Before that he represented Illinois in the U.S. House of Representatives (1995-2009).