Erroll Southers has been selected by the Obama administration to be the fifth administrator of the Transportation Security Administration. The TSA was formed "immediately following the tragedies of Sept. 11," 2001, and now employs roughly 50,000 people. It is charged with (among other things) overseeing security at some 450 U.S. airports. Erroll, who is a former FBI agent, currently serves as an assistant chief for the Los Angeles World Airports Police Department's Office of Homeland Security and Intelligence. The National Air Transportation Association was one of the first aviation groups to respond to the administration's selection, saying through its president, James K. Coyne, that "Southers' vast experience with homeland security and terrorism will serve him well as the next administrator of the TSA." NATA "looks forward to working with Mr. Southers on critical security issues facing the general aviation industry and the airline services community." AOPA president Craig Fuller also said he "looks forward to a continuing dialog with the administrator once he takes office to ensure the security process is transparent, and to make sure the TSA recognizes the nation's pilot population as an asset in its ongoing efforts to enhance security."
Southers also serves as associate director at the Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events at the University of Southern California, where he previously served as adjunct professor. Southers formerly served as deputy director of homeland security for the state of California.