Tom Blank

“Our country holds a special place in its heart to honor you as part of this extraordinary team of Americans.”

-Admiral James Loy, TSA Administrator, on recognizing Tom Blank as a Founding Father of the TSA.

Tom Blank

Senior Government Affairs Advisor

Tom Blank joined the U.S. Transportation Security Administration shortly after 9/11, where he served as the agency’s second ranking executive, Deputy Administrator (Acting). Through his tenure, TSA grew from a handful of employees post 9/11 to become the largest stand-up of a Federal agency since World War II.

Mr. Blank is credited for building strong relationships with TSA’s aviation stakeholders especially airports, airlines and the air cargo industry. In addition, in the aftermath of the Madrid subway bombing, Blank led the effort to bring U.S. transit and rail operators under federal security regulation for the first time.

At TSA, Mr. Blank first created the Office of Transportation Security Policy which led the way in establishing the nation’s post 9/11 homeland security regime for transportation. He later was named TSA’s Chief Support Systems Officer in charge of technology development, nationwide deployment of the federal screener workforce, and reforming the agency’s acquisition function. Blank is widely respected on Capitol Hill where he has frequently testified before committees of both the House and the Senate. He was awarded the U.S. Department of Transportation’s 9/11 Service Medal by Secretary Norman Y. Mineta in 2003.

Mr. Blank was previously President and CEO of The Fund for the Capitol Visitor Center, a non-profit group created by Congress in 1998 to help secure private support for the last major addition to the U.S. Capitol. In that role he dealt extensively with congressional leaders and staff as well as prominent corporate leaders recruited to serve on the Board.

As a senior executive with Union Pacific Resources Group, then the nation’s largest independent oil and gas producer, Mr. Blank managed environmental performance and regulatory issues along with public and government affairs. He created and managed the corporate ethics and compliance program.

In 1997, Blank was named to House Speaker Newt Gingrich's senior leadership staff as Communications Director. In that role, he developed messages and communications strategies for the Speaker and the Congressional leadership in the House. Before serving on Capitol Hill, Blank was President of Hager Sharp, Inc., a well regarded public affairs firm in Washington where he founded and managed the Environment and Industry Practice which grew to become one of the top issue-focused practices in the industry.