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Air & Infrastructure

How TSA Changed its Public Reputation, Enhanced Security and Improved Employee Morale

By Chris Schmidt
In 2010, the Transportation Security Administration’s public image was getting worse by the day. There were stories about long lines and less-than-professional interaction between agent and airline passenger. It was then that Administrator John Pistole came to TSA with a clear idea of how to make an organizational change.

Looking Back and Looking Forward – DHS Moves into 2015 Amid Uncertainty and Hope

By most objective measures, 2014 was not a good year for the Department of Homeland Security. As we enter 2015, I sense there is a slight bit of subjective optimism that, under the leadership of DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson, things are getting better. Here are the opportunities (and potential challenges) for the Department in 2015.

Anniversaries are More Than Just Days to Remember

Twelve years ago last week, President Bush signed the act creating the Department of Homeland Security. It came into formal existence on March 1, 2003. Anniversaries are days to reflect on broader issues, and it is a good time to reflect on what has occurred since DHS was created – and what that means for the Department’s current and future missions and challenges.

DHS Orders Increased Security at Federal Buildings

On Tuesday, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson announced steps to enhance security at more than 9,500 U.S. federal buildings amid the ongoing threat of attacks from extremist groups. The Federal Protective Service is challenged to secure thousands of buildings where some 1.4 million people pass through each day, and the new steps highlight growing public concern over how ready the United States is to halt threats large and small – and in what way.

A Suspect Decision and a Poor Choice – The Ebola Czar

Obama Administration’s fumbled response to the Ebola threat has both political parties giving the President’s team a resounding thumbs down. To calm an anxious public, the President decided to tap a veteran Washington political insider, Ron Klain, to coordinate the messaging and response going forward. This is a suspect decision with hints of politics where there should be none.

Media Ebola Hype Misses Important Information

You can’t turn on CNN, in particular, without wall-to-wall Ebola coverage. Avert your eyes from the All Ebola All The Time coverage and focus on something that is a real threat to you—and go get a flu shot.

Commercial Drone Debate Should not be a Condom Marketing Campaign

UAVs for commercial use are a source of important public debate. Some companies have weighed in with innovative ideas, which hold additional marketing benefits. I don’t take issue with that. What I do take issue with is when a company, under the guise of public health and altruism, capitalizes on an important national issue to line their pockets. b condoms, prophylactic manufacturer and ostensibly pro-social health company, I’m talking about you.

Cyber Policies and Executive Order Need Harmonization With Acquisition Rules and Practices

By David Z. Bodenheimer
The U.S. federal government’s acquisition rules and buying practices have a direct impact upon major segments of the U.S. and global marketplaces. Cybersecurity Executive Order 13636 and Presidential Policy Directive 21 both recognize that the federal acquisition process must be addressed as part of the overall federal strategy for enhancing cybersecurity. It is time to harmonize the cyber acquisition regulations.

The Stories That Shape our Lives in a Post 9/11 World

There are thousands of stories passed down from one generation to the next. As the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks approaches, it is time to share stories of that day so we can continue the mosaic collection that forms the picture of our lives today in a post-9/11 world.

Modern Threats to Airliners and the World at Large

By Kevin McCarthy
Less then a month ago, a second massive tragedy struck Malaysia Airlines – the shoot down of MH17 over Ukraine. Was MH17 targeted specifically, an indiscriminate act of violence, or a major tactical error with global consequences? Is this a new global threat that should keep us up at night?