TSA names three area directors to oversee transportation security nationwide

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National Press Release
Thursday, October 27, 2005

WASHINGTON – The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) today named Maggie Rhodes, Leo Vasquez, Jr. and Dennis Clark as the three area directors to oversee transportation security at airports and in other modes of transportation for the East Coast, Central and Western areas, respectively.

Full-time Area Director positions are being established to give greater flexibility and coordination in providing TSA support to all Federal Security Directors in the field. Area Directors are now in a position to work directly with headquarters staff in a team approach to resolve issues and be an integral part of responses to incidents affecting the transportation systems in their respective areas. Area Directors will not only oversee Federal Security Directors at airports, but ensure security procedures and responses are carried out in an effective manner for the viability of the national transportation system.

"Maggie, Leo and Dennis all have extensive leadership experience within TSA and they bring to headquarters representation of Category X, I and II airports," said Jim Blair, TSA's Assistant Director for Security Operations. "As Area Directors, they will not only oversee the Federal Security Directors at airports but see that security procedures and responses are carried out in order to protect the American people and ensure the viability of the national transportation system."

Since August 2002, Rhodes has served as Federal Security Director (FSD) for Fairbanks International Airport and seven commercial "spoke" airports spread across 300,000 miles in Northern Alaska, which also includes over 150 general aviation airports. Prior to joining TSA, Rhodes served Federal Aviation Administration headquarters in the Office of Information Services and the Chief Information Office, as well as the Office of Civil Aviation Security. She also served with the Civil Aviation Security Regional and Field Offices in Anchorage, Alaska. Her 19 years of federal experience has given her the skills of focusing on a problem and finding resolutions, and her reputation is well known in the West. As the East Area Director, she will oversee 138 airports in 14 states.

Vasquez has been the FSD for San Antonio International Airport since May 2002. Before joining TSA, he served in the U.S. Army with assignments to Vietnam, Germany, Nicaragua and Panama. Vasquez was also a civilian consultant, serving as Security Coordinator for the U.N. Mission to Haiti and as the project manager to revamp the Anti-Terrorism Assistance Program for the Department of State. He has served on the FSD Advisory Council and has garnered a reputation of always pushing for ways to better take care of our screener work force. As Central Area Director, he will oversee 170 airports in 23 states.

Clark joined TSA as FSD at El Paso International Airport in 2002 and has also served as Deputy Assistant Administrator for Aviation Programs and as FSD at Las Vegas McCarran International Airport. Previously he was Director of International Security for Verizon, and for 27 years was a Special Agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration. He comes with a wealth of field and headquarters experience. As West Area Director, he will oversee 140 airports in 13 states.