A few days before Erroll Southers, President Obama’s pick to head the Transportation Security Administration, took the stand for his Oct. 15 confirmation hearing, homeland security consultant Rich Cooper predicted that industry would be watching the nominee’s testimony closely.
“We’re going to see a lot about what TSA wants” in terms of future procurement priorities, said Cooper, chairman of the National Defense Industry Association’s Homeland Security Division.
As Southers heads into a second confirmation hearing this week, before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Cooper said Southers’ initial performance should have put the business community at ease.
“I think his background and his experience make him a slam-dunk candidate,” said Cooper, “When you look at what he brings to the table, not only has he been involved with law enforcement, operational issues, information networks and working with personnel, he’s also been a researcher and an academic, and he’s worked not only across the country but across the globe on these issues.”
Southers is currently the assistant chief for homeland security and intelligence at Los Angeles World Airports’ police department, the largest airport police department in the United States. He also serves as associate director at the University of Southern California’s Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events.