Andy Lee is the Director of Test and Evaluation in the Office of Security Capabilities (OSC). He and his team manage the activities of the TSA Systems Integration Facility (TSIF), which is where the agency performs laboratory and operational testing of emerging technologies, procedures, and capabilities. Before technology is deployed to the field, it must receive his team’s seal of approval.
Lee has been in the security technology business since 2000 when he joined the New Jersey-based Transportation Security Laboratory (TSL) – then still part of the Federal Aviation Administration. The lab transitioned to TSA when the agency stood up and Lee led several technology related programs in response to 9/11 and the mandates in the Aviation and Transportation Security Act. In 2007, he relocated to TSA’s headquarters and took on the responsibility to establish the TSIF and subsequently build the new Test and Evaluation (T&E) organization.
The T&E group was the first in DHS to receive a formal designation by the Department as an Operational Test Agent (OTA), which means the group possesses the expertise and capability to provide independent evaluations of technologies and inform final Departmental decision authorities on their performance. Since the OTA designation, the T&E group – through laboratory testing at the TSIF, TSL, and operational testing at airports throughout the country – has completed more formal system evaluations than any other DHS component. Recent examples of deployed technologies tested by T&E include Advanced Imaging Technologies, Explosive Trace Detection systems, numerous Explosives Detection Systems, Advanced Technology X-ray, and Bottle Liquid Scanners.
Additionally, the T&E group supports Risk-Based Security (RBS) by performing extensive assessments of the initiatives that make up RBS, including TSA Pre✓™, Managed Inclusion and Enhanced Selectee Screening.
“What I do matters because our efforts are critical to TSA’s mission and vision for the future. The results of the evaluations we undertake inform critical decisions that define the strategy and direction of TSA and efforts like risk-based security. We test many types of systems, technologies, and capabilities that ultimately make a difference in providing the best available security at our nation’s airports.
“I’m particularly proud of the outstanding people that have come into the T&E organization and helped to build it into something special and unique at TSA and within DHS. Each T&E team member exemplifies a dedication to TSA’s mission and the users of our security capabilities.
“The biggest challenge we face is making sure that we do everything we can to support our frontline employees and the goals of the agency and continue to provide quality and timely test results to our customers. After doing this job for many years, I remain extremely proud of the hard work, professionalism, and integrity of our team, of everyone in OSC, and those on the frontline across the country.”
From the Office of Strategic Communications/Public Affairs