This morning by voice vote, the US Senate confirmed the nomination of John Pistole to be the next Administrator of DHS’ Transportation Security Administration (TSA). In what has been a grueling odyssey for everyone involved, from former nominees and their families, the White House Office of Personnel, US Senate Members and staff, the people of TSA, and many more, permanent leadership is now in place at TSA.
While there have to be sighs of relief in Secretary Napolitano’s Office over Pistole’s confirmation, probably no one will be happier than Gale Rossides who has been serving as the Acting Administrator for more than a year and a half. Between the collapsed nominations of Southers and Harding; the Christmas Day underwear bomber and the day-to-day grind in one of the toughest jobs in the country, she has been at the helm. Her service has frankly been underappreciated and under-acknowledged by the Administration, Congress, the media and many others.
For too long, the charge that TSA has been leaderless has gone unanswered and been very inaccurate. The truth is TSA was never without leadership. It had Gail and many other senior career persons taking care of business day in and day out around the country. Amidst the celebration of having a distinguished public servant like John Pistole to be the Agency’s new Administrator, I hope someone will take the time to recognize her for all that she has done during this strenuous time. I also hope she gets to pop open a tall, cold one this weekend. She’s earned it.