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President Biden Designates Acting FAA Administrator

President Joe Biden has designated Polly Trottenberg to serve as acting FAA Administrator.

The President intends to appoint Katie Thomson, the FAA’s current chief of staff, as the deputy administrator. Keith Washington, currently DOT Deputy Assistant Secretary for Administration, will serve as the agency’s acting chief of staff.




The Department of Transportation also announced current Deputy FAA Administrator A. Bradley Mims is moving to the Office of the Secretary and will lead the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization at DOT. Tyra Redus will be the office’s permanent deputy director.

“I am pleased to announce a team of experienced leaders to guide the FAA,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “I am grateful to Billy for his service during one of the most challenging and dynamic times in aviation, and I have full confidence in Polly’s steady hand during the search for a permanent administrator.”

Trottenberg has more than 30 years of public service at all levels of government. She has served various transportation roles during two presidential administrations, including U.S. Transportation Deputy Secretary, Under Secretary for Policy and Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy. Prior to her current role as DOT Deputy Secretary, she led the New York City Transportation Department from 2014 to 2020 and also served as a legislative staffer in the U.S. Senate for 12 years and at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Thomson has served various roles at the FAA during two presidential administrations, including chief counsel and chief of staff. She has nearly a decade of experience at the Transportation Department as senior counselor to the secretary, general counsel and the director of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Mims has a 40-year background in transportation in multiple roles within the government, as well as the private sector. Previously, Mims served as President and CEO of the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO), the nation’s leading advocacy organization for minority professionals and businesses in the transportation and infrastructure industry. During the Clinton Administration, Mims served at the FAA and the Department of Transportation.

Trottenberg’s designation is effective immediately.

“Transportation at its best opens and connects communities and creates opportunities for families,” Buttigieg added. “Few have championed that more than Brad. I look forward to having his advocacy for small businesses at the Department.”

Nolen announced in April that he would step down from his post after leading the agency for more than a year. The Biden-Harris Administration is conducting a national search for a nominee to become the permanent FAA administrator, a position that carries a five-year term and must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

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