COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Transportation Security Administration has named Tom Rice, the federal security director (FSD) in Columbus, as the agency’s FSD of the Year for the Eastern Region, distinguishing him among 125 peers. The award recognizes the FSD who makes significant contributions in providing operational direction for federal security, demonstrating integrity and innovation while adding value to other airports and agencies nationwide.
“Tom has improved the morale of employees and has promoted a culture of achievement among team members,” said Gale Rossides, TSA associate administrator for Business Transformation and Culture. “He serves as an example of workplace excellence with a focus on providing world-class security, and his partnerships inside and outside TSA are positive, professional and customer-focused due to his outstanding leadership.”
FSD Rice has formed partnerships with organizations at the local, state and federal level, keeping Port Columbus International and Rickenbacker International airports directly involved in and aware of regional terrorism intelligence and local emergency management planning.
“Tom’s dedication towards our mission of airport security and his ability to truly listen to the stakeholders’ interests makes him a valued partner,” said Elaine Roberts, president and CEO of the Columbus Regional Airport Authority and chair of the American Association of Airport Executives. “I can think of no better person to be named FSD of the Year.”
Rice is a native Ohioan from Chillicothe who served with the Ohio State Highway Patrol for 33 years, retiring as superintendent in 1994. Following a year at the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction as the acting chief inspector, he began a five-year tour with the City of Columbus as safety director. Rice then consulted for the Ohio Department of Youth Services, after which he retired briefly. With the creation of TSA, Rice was swiftly called to return to duty and was sworn in as the first FSD for Port Columbus and Rickenbacker airports in June 2002.
Rice, an avid Buckeye fan, holds a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from the Ohio State University. He also holds master’s degrees in Public Administration and Labor, and Human Resources.
The position of federal security director was created by the Aviation and Transportation Security Act signed by President Bush on November 19, 2001.