TSA's Leadership Plays Musical Chairs

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) made headlines today announcing that international passengers flying into the U.S. will undergo more scrutiny but behind the scenes, the federal agency is grappling with a lack of leadership.

According to an internal email obtained by CBS News, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), which is under the supervision of DHS, underwent a management shake up Thursday.

Several executives were moved into different positions within the TSA. Most notably: Robert Bray has been promoted from director of the Federal Air Marshal Service (the DHS division that places armed undercover law enforcement officers on airplanes) to the TSA's No. 2 slot, assuming the title of Acting Deputy TSA Administrator.

Bray spent 20 years with the U.S. Secret Service. His ascension comes on the heels of a series of accusations by air marshals alleging the Federal Air Marshal Service has a =http:>systemic problem of discrimination and retaliation.

TSA has been without a permanent boss since President Obama came into office. To date, efforts to fill the position have been marked by the failure of two nominees to move forward in the confirmation process. The most recent candidate, Major General Robert Harding, withdrew his name from consideration after, in part, The Washington Post uncovered his private defense-contracting firm was using Harding's sleep apnea as a way to qualify him as a "disabled veteran," and thus entitled the firm to preferential treatment.

Below are the internal emails explaining the new management changes at TSA and the Federal Air Marshal Service:

From: FAMSBroadcastMessage

Sent: Thursday, April 01, 2010 10:24 AM

Subject: Message from Gale on Changes to TSA's Leadership Team

Date: April 1, 2010

To: All Employees

From: Gale Rossides

Acting Administrator

Subject: 100 - Changes to TSA's Leadership Team

I am pleased to announce four new changes to TSA's Senior Leadership Team.

First, Keith Kauffman, who has been TSA's Assistant Administrator for Intelligence since October 2007 and TSA's Acting Deputy Administrator since January 2009, will move on to the new position of TSA's Counterterrorism Coordinator. In this role, Keith will be the principal executive to work with the Department of Homeland Security's Counterterrorism Coordinator and to manage all issues with the National Security Staff on counterterrorism issues. He will also work with the Intelligence Community and DHS operating components on a variety of initiatives.

Bob Bray will be assuming the role of Acting Deputy TSA Administrator. Bob has served as the Assistant Administrator for Law Enforcement and Director of the Federal Air Marshal Service (OLE-FAMS) since June 2008, and began his career with the FAMS on May 5, 2003, as the Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Mission Operations Center at the Federal Aviation Administration's Technical Center in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Previously, Bob served 20 years with the U.S. Secret Service.

Cindy Farkus, who is currently the Assistant Administrator for Global Strategies, has accepted the position of Assistant Administrator for Intelligence. Cindy joined TSA in 2007, and since then she has strengthened our relationships with foreign governments and aviation stakeholders to increase international transportation security. She led TSA's productive information-sharing initiatives with U.S. embassies and consulates worldwide and played a critical role in meeting TSA's regulatory and inspection responsibilities overseas. Before joining TSA, Cindy spent 29 years with the National Security Agency (NSA), where she served in senior domestic and international positions involving intelligence and policy analysis.

John Halinski, who has served as the Deputy Assistant Administrator of Global Strategies since December 2008, has been promoted to the Assistant Administrator position. John joined TSA in 2004, and served in the roles of Europe Area Manager in Global Strategies and the TSA Representative (TSAR) for Italy and Africa, covering 38 countries in total. During his time at TSA, John has served as the TSA/DHS lead for the 2006 Winter Olympics and the TSA Representative for the evacuations of Americans out of Lebanon in 2006. He developed and implemented TSA's successful Africa engagement strategy for TSA, as well as the Safe Skies for Africa program.

Previously, John served in the United States Marine Corps for 25 years. He held a variety of positions in the intelligence and infantry communities, working extensively in the areas of Special Operations. During his military service, John worked in the areas of counter-terrorism, counter-drug and counter-proliferation operations.

We are so fortunate to have leaders on our team with the expertise that Cindy, Keith, Bob, and John all bring. Please join me in congratulating them for their accomplishments and welcoming them to their new leadership roles.

From: Director Bray

Sent: Thursday, April 01, 2010 2:13 PM

Subject: Senior Leadership Selections

During my period of service as the Acting Deputy TSA Administrator the following senior leadership selections are effective:

Mike Novak has been selected as the Acting Assistant Administrator for the Office of Law Enforcement (OLE) and Acting Director of the Federal Air Marshal Service (FAMS). Prior to this selection Mike served as the OLE/FAMS Deputy Assistant Administrator/Deputy Director.

Don Zimmerman has been selected as the Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Office of Law Enforcement and Acting Deputy Director of the Federal Air Marshal Service. Prior to this selection Don served as the OLE/FAMS Assistant Director for the Office of Training and Workforce Programs.

These temporary selections have been approved by the TSA Executive Resources Council. I congratulate Mike and Don on their selections to these senior leadership positions.