Securing a Role for Science
Geoff Mumford has been working to cultivate a relationship with the newly created Transportation Security Administration (TSA) which is the largest federal agency begun since World War II. The day after John Magaw was nominated to head the TSA in December, APA delivered briefing materials to his office at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that highlighted the important role psychological science has to play in transportation security including personnel selection, human performance, human-technology interactions, and system integration. At his confirmation hearing, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) raised questions about the fitness-for-duty of Federal Air Marshall recruits. To improve understanding of this subject, APA sent Magaw additional information, including a summary of a recent National Research Council meeting on that subject to Magaw with a cover letter highlighting the prominent roles APA psychologists are playing at the National Academies and the FAA as well as at the FBI and the US Secret Service (Magaw used to lead the USSS).
Geoff is currently working with FAA, TSA and Senate Commerce Committee staff as well as other external security consumer groups like the Air Line Pilots Association and Air Transport Association to iron out an optimal arrangement for the Scientific Advisory Panel that will oversee a newly authorized $50 million security research and development program at TSA.