The TSA revolving door has spun again. Late Friday, the Bush administration nominated San Francisco Bay-area business executive Edmund "Kip" Hawley to be the fourth head of the Transportation Security Administration in three years.
"As we have with his predecessors, AOPA will reach out to this new chief of an agency that has an inordinate amount of influence on general aviation activities and educate him on the realities of GA," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "This quick announcement means there will be no leadership gap at TSA. We hope he'll be in the job long enough to understand all of the issues and have a positive influence."
There's a good chance he will. Hawley has close ties to some of the security world's top players.
The Washington Post says that, according to government sources, Michael P. Jackson, deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, picked Hawley. Jackson is a major power broker in homeland security, and AOPA has worked with him since the early post-9/11 days when he was part of the White House Office of Homeland Security.
Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta had recruited Hawley in 2001 along with other "best and brightest" business executives to run a "war room" charged with mobilizing some 50,000 new federal airport security screeners and new bomb-detection equipment. Hawley returned to the private sector after the TSA was up and running.
"One reason this gentleman was picked is he has a technical background, a private sector background," Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.), chairman of the House aviation subcommittee, told the Associated Press. "We're going to do a high-tech makeover, which will rely less on personnel and more on technology."
The 51-year-old Hawley is a University of Virginia Law School graduate. He most recently was an executive at Arzoon Inc., a global trade and logistics software firm. He previously was a vice president for Union Pacific Railroad and served in the White House and the Department of Transportation during the Reagan administration. He's a member of the FAA's Air Traffic Services Committee.
Assuming he's confirmed by the Senate, Hawley will take office in June when current TSA chief Adm. David M. Stone leaves.
May 9, 2005