Lisa Farbstein is a spokesperson with the Office of Strategic Communications/Public Affairs at headquarters, in Arlington, Virginia, where she serves as the primary contact for reporters covering the New York, New Jersey and Northern Virginia/Washington, D.C. areas. Farbstein joined TSA in June 2011 after working for 10 years as the chief spokesperson for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. She is part of an external media team that works to place positive stories in the media with a focus on the agency’s counterterrorism mission and responds to daily media inquiries.
“What I do matters because when I explain what we do and that we know the majority of travelers present no threat, reporters often are surprised at how advanced TSA is and they are absolutely amazed to hear about the good catches our Officers make every day across the country.
“I was curious about what it takes to open a checkpoint at a large airport every day. After I observed an early-morning opening, I came back with a reporter and photographer to show the hard work that our Officers do before the first traveler ever shows up. After participating in an Explosive and Explosive Effects course, I returned with some reporters to show them some of the non-Sensitive Security Information training that occurs behind the scenes. And I was fortunate to see TSA assist a group of military veterans, with post-traumatic stress syndrome, who received service dogs to help them adjust back to life in the U.S.
“I am proud to have been one of the 750 TSA employees from around the country who deployed to New York to assist FEMA in aiding Hurricane Sandy survivors. I witnessed personally the selfless nature of their dedication to helping others in their time of need. Earlier, I spent a week working as a member of the TSA Critical Incident Management Group right before, during and immediately after the hurricane hit and was continually amazed at the dedication of the TSA workers who came together to get the hard work done while supporting their colleagues who suffered devastating damage to their homes.
“What do you find most rewarding about your work at TSA? It’s rewarding when I watch the news or read a newspaper article about TSA that focuses on the agency’s successes and how we are willing to change existing policies and try new, innovative approaches to improve security.”
From the Office of Strategic Communications/Public Affairs