Obama Likely to Nominate Erroll Southers to Lead the TSA
September 11, 2009 — President Barack Obama intends to nominate Erroll Southers as the next head of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) according to several sources. Southers, currently a high level official with the Los Angeles Airport Police, is in charge of homeland security and intelligence for the department. Southers is known as a well respected manager and is credited with bringing a sharper focus to the Los Angeles Airport Police’s security and counter-terrorism efforts.
EAA Vice President of Government and Industry Relations Earl Lawrence says Southers’s background suggests someone who is “well qualified to manage security policy at the nation’s airports. What is less clear is what his perceptions and views are about general aviation and security policies affecting that sector. EAA is eager to learn more about Mr. Southers as the process moves forward”.
If Southers is nominated and confirmed by the Senate he will no doubt have to tackle labor issues involving the TSA’s 45,000 airport screeners that have lingered from the Bush Administration. Labor unions have indicated that they would welcome a Southers nomination based on background research they completed when he was being considered for another federal post earlier this year. Before serving in his present position, Southers worked in police departments at all levels in California state government and with the FBI. He also holds several academic posts with The University of Southern California and the University of California.