Acting Deputy Administrator Patricia Cogswell retires, celebrates 24 years of public service

Friday, September 11, 2020
Cogswell Retirement 2020

When asked years ago where she wanted to be when she retired from government service, Patricia Cogswell, or Patty as she is known by her contemporaries expressed TSA. The last two years as TSA’s Acting Deputy Administrator is fulfillment of that aspiration.

On Tuesday, August, 25, her accomplishments were highlighted in a masked and socially distant retirement ceremony hosted at TSA headquarters and livestreamed on YouTube. With her husband and son by her side and her parents watching live via the internet, friends and colleagues honored Cogswell by recounting her rich, professional history, having served in nine different positions throughout her career.

Enrollment Services & Vetting Programs Deputy Assistant Administrator Neal Latta and Charles Bartoldus, formerly of Customs and Border Protection, were the event emcees.

“What she’s accomplished in two years most people accomplish in six, seven or eight years,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske. “[She] changed the arc of history for this agency, changed it in a way that is focused on people, focused on careers.”

In his remarks honoring Cogswell, Pekoske highlighted significant national issues in which Cogswell’s efforts prioritized people and the culture of the agency. Her leadership was integral in the agency’s execution of the TSA Modernization Act of 2018.

Cogswell Retirement
A toast, using her favorite soda, to former ADADM Cogswell. (Photo by Cynthia Bennett)

She led the way on significant changes in support of employees during the 35-day partial government shutdown of late 2018 and early 2019, and in TSA policies and safety measures enacted at the outset of the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S. She also leaves a lasting legacy through her work in the field of TSA career progression.

In her closing remarks, a humbled Cogswell thanked her family and colleagues for their support and friendship throughout her career. “The ability to work together to come up with something that no one person or one entity could come up with on their own,” said Cogswell, is one of her lasting impressions about collaboration she experienced throughout her career. “Thank you to the people who rise to the challenge, do it collaboratively, get the job done and move on to the next thing, because that’s what they do.”

In parting, Cogswell was awarded the DHS Outstanding Service Medal for exhibiting outstanding individual leadership and superior public service in support of the Department and the nation. She was also awarded a TSA medallion as a token of appreciation for her service to TSA employees.