Atlanta Federal Security Director honored with prestigious leadership award

Wednesday, August 28, 2019
Mary Leftridge Byrd

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport Federal Security Director Mary Leftridge Byrd has received a prestigious leadership award from Government Executive magazine.

In connection with its 50th anniversary this year, Government Executive launched the Theodore Roosevelt Government Leadership Awards to honor an all-star team of distinguished federal officials and their partners outside government. The winners were selected because they “demonstrated outstanding achievement in delivering on government’s promise to serve the American people.”

More than 200 distinguished leaders were nominated for the awards earlier this year, and ultimately 15 honorees were recognized in six different categories. Byrd was selected as a recipient in the “Directors” category “for excellence in managing people, programs and policy implementation.” As FSD of the world's busiest airport — and seven other airports in Georgia – she demonstrates a strong commitment to her workforce of over 1,300 employees and to TSA’s mission.

“To say I am more than surprised is a true understatement,” said Leftridge Byrd. “To be one of 15 recipients selected from 200 nominees from across a broad spectrum is incredibly humbling. That said, I did not get here alone, nor do I do this alone. I look directly at the women and men I serve with and know that accepting this award is about this entire team. I am fortunate our collective work can be seen through the experience of one.”

One of her employees, program analyst Karen Peoples believes Leftridge Byrd could have been nominated for any of the six award categories – Visionaries, Masters, Pathfinders, Partners, Defenders or Directors. “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader,” Peoples said.

“I am grateful for a career in public service which has been such an amazing opportunity to simultaneously lead and stand aside as others grow and progress on this critical mission,” added Leftridge Byrd. “To serve as FSD has been career defining.”

Government Executive will honor the Leadership Award winners at an event in Washington, D.C. this fall. You can read the official announcement here.