Schambach to leave TSA

Patrick Schambach, chief information officer at the Transportation Security Administration, is leaving the federal government after 32 years of service that included one of the toughest jobs in the federal government: securing the nation's airports.

Schambach was named to TSA after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and given the job of building an organization from scratch. The former CIO of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Schambach led the effort to tighten security at airports, instituting new passenger and luggage screening guidelines.

In a phone interview, Schambach said his plan had always been to spend two years at TSA until he reached 55.

"I feel like what I came to do is not to finish enabling technology at TSA -- I came to get it started," Schambach said.

Joe Peters, Schambach's deputy, will be the acting CIO at TSA, he said.

Always mission-focused, Schambach wasted no time getting the fledgling agency off the ground. Despite budget constraints and bureaucratic roadblocks, TSA officials issued a statement of objectives for its Information Technology Managed Services program in June 2002 and, within six weeks, awarded Unisys Corp. the billion-dollar performance-based deal.

"I have a love for the IT field particularly in the government environment," he said in a staff memo.

In the memo, Schambach said he has not finalized his plans but expects to take a job in the private sector, in which he already has received a warm reception.

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