Bush To Name Edmund "Kip" Hawley to Head TSA
President George W. Bush named California supply-chain computer technology consultant Edmund S. "Kip" Hawley to be the Transportation Security Administration's fourth director in its three-year history, acting just weeks after Rear Admiral David Stone announced his resignation.
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Bush on Friday said he would nominate Hawley, a member of the Federal Aviation Administration's Air Traffic Services Committee. A formal nomination will come at a later date. As a private-sector representative, Hawley helped establish TSA in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
Hawley will take over an agency accused by members of Congress of becoming too bloated, ineffectual, and facing myriad public relations problems after some passengers complained of overly intimate frisking by TSA employees. Stone in April announced he would step down from the job in June, and Michael Chertoff, the new secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, reportedly is planning to restructure TSA.
Hawley played a critical role in establishing TSA, working with Michael Jackson, deputy secretary of DHS. After helping to get the agency up and running, Hawley returned to San Mateo, Calif. to join Arzoon Inc., a subsidiary of SSA Global Technologies Inc. He previously worked as vice president of transportation services for Union Pacific Railroad in Omaha, Neb., and is a former lobbyist for the Department of Transportation. Hawley immediately won praise from lawmakers and key stakeholders.
"We're high on Mr. Hawley," said James May, chief executive of the Air Transport Association, the trade group that includes the Unites States' largest carriers. "We believe he will bring a great combination of skills and experience to the position."
Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.), the chairman of the House transportation subcommittee on aviation, said Hawley's experience with technology in the private sector will win the confidence of lawmakers who have grown skeptical of the agency's ability to do its job. "We're going to do a high-tech makeover, which will rely less on personnel and more on technology," Mica said. Hawley's nomination, when formal, will require Senate confirmation.