Blakey - Leading The FAA
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
has enjoyed having two women serve as the
agency's Administrator: Jane Garvey and
the current FAA chief, Marion C. Blakey.
Climbing the ranks of a large federal agency
is no easy task, but nevertheless, both
women persevered and joined the prestigious
few who've led the talented team of professionals
at the World's leading national aviation
administration. Blakey is a tough woman
that doesn't care for excuses, which is
probably why she also was a successful leader
as the National Transportation Safety Board's
(NTSB) Chairman before taking the FAA's
During her tenure at the NTSB, Blakey
managed a number of major accident investigations
including the crash of American Airlines
flight 587, which crashed into the Belle
Harbor neighborhood of Queens in New York
City shortly after takeoff from John F.
Kennedy International on November 12, 2001.
She worked to improve the Board's accident
reporting process and increased industry
and regulatory responsiveness to NTSB safety
recommendations. Blakey also strengthened
the Board's advocacy and outreach programs
to promote safer travel throughout all modes
of transportation. She also furthered development
of the NTSB Academy as a national and international
resource to enhance aviation safety and
In addition to her role as NTSB Chairman
and current-day FAA Administrator, Blakey
also held four previous Presidential appointments,
two of which required Senate confirmation.
From 1992 to 1993, Blakey served as Administrator
of the Department of Transportation's National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
As the nation's leading highway safety official,
she was charged with reducing deaths, injuries,
and economic losses resulting from motor
vehicle crashes. Prior to her service at
NHTSA, she held key positions at the Department
of Commerce, the Department of Education,
the National Endowment for the Humanities,
the White House, and the Department of Transportation.
Ms. Blakey, born in Gadsden, Alabama,
received her bachelor's degree with honors
in international studies from Mary Washington
College of the University of Virginia. She
also attended Johns Hopkins University,
School of Advanced International Studies
for graduate work in Middle East Affairs.
From 1993 to 2001, Blakey was the principal
of Blakey & Associates, now Blakey &
Agnew, a Washington, D.C. public affairs
consulting firm with a particular focus
on transportation issues and traffic safety.
Blakey was sworn in September 13, 2002 as
the 15th FAA Administrator. As the current
Administrator, she is responsible for regulating
and advancing the safety of the nation's
airways as well as operating the world's
largest air traffic control system.
Is An FAA
Career For You?
Only you can answer that question. While
the chances of becoming the next FAA Administrator
are not real high, there certainly are numerous
other exciting career opportunities with
the agency. Like Ms. Blakey, you might also
enjoy a long career of public service helping
to run our nation's national airspace system.
One of the FAA Administrator's duties
is to promote the agency's mission via the
media. This week's video clip features a
one-on-one interview with Marion Blakey,
Avjobs.com. Ms. Blakey discusses
some the FAA's work on the new Sport Pilot
aircraft and pilot certification program.