Gale Rossides, the former Acting Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration, and plank holder at DHS, sat down with HSToday Executive Editor, Kristina Tanasichuk, to discuss the ways the Department has evolved over the years.
Gale Rossides’ career spanned 34 years in the public sector where she led major reforms following several critical events in our Nation’s history, culminating in creating the Transportation Security Administration. Ms. Rossides served as the agency’s Deputy Administrator/COO for five years and Acting Administrator/CEO for 18 months.
Ms. Rossides was one of the six original federal executives chosen in 2001 to build TSA from scratch—the largest public mobilization since World War II—in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on 9/11. She was selected for her expertise in organizational and employee development, having served as the Assistant Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, responsible for all law enforcement and leadership training, and as a member of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center’s Advisory Board in the course of 23 years at the U.S. Treasury Department.
From 2002-2004, Ms. Rossides served as TSA’s Associate Administrator responsible for all administrative, training, and technology functions of the new agency. This involved scaling TSA from zero employees to 60,000 new Federal personnel and transforming all U.S. aviation security operations from the private sector to the public sector, including the deployment of baggage and checkpoint technologies across 450 airports in accordance with the Congressional mandates that created TSA.
Ms. Rossides served as Deputy Administrator/Chief Operating Officer of the Transportation Security Administration (U.S. Department of Homeland Security) from January 2007 until her retirement in July 2012, managing day-to-day and strategic operations of its 60,000 person, 8 billion dollar enterprise across all U.S. airports and regulating hundreds of international airport operations serviced by U.S. airlines. During her tenure as the Deputy Administrator, Ms. Rossides was appointed by the Secretary of DHS in January 2009 to serve as Acting TSA Administrator during the transition between the Bush and Obama Administrations, holding that post for 18 months. In this capacity she served as Chief Executive Officer of TSA, responsible for all agency matters, including Congressional testimony and recommending major policy initiatives to the White House and the President’s National Security team.