Tom Blank joined Gephardt Government Affairs in 2012 and leads client work in the homeland security, technology, and international arenas. His multi-decade career includes public sector assignments on Capitol Hill and at key Executive Branch agencies, as well as private sector and non-profit experience.
As Communications Director for former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Tom designed and led the message development and communications strategy for the House Republican leadership, including efforts supporting passage of the first balanced budget in a generation. Earlier in his career, Tom served as a Department of Transportation spokesman and was appointed by President Reagan to serve as a lead spokesman for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
Tom’s 13 years of federal service culminated following his tenure as a “founding father” of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), which he joined in 2002 as a stakeholder liaison. He later served as Assistant Administrator for Security Regulation and Policy and was instrumental in developing the new security regime for the aviation sector, including the Screening Partnership Program, the Federal Flight Deck Officer Program, and the first standard operating procedures for TSA baggage inspection processes. In 2004, Tom was named Chief Support Systems Officer and assumed responsibility for 900 employees and a $2 billion budget for security technology, IT, human resources, and acquisitions. Tom left the agency as Deputy Administrator (Acting) and remains one of the agency’s longest-tenured senior leaders.
Prior to joining TSA, Tom served as President and CEO of the Fund for the Capitol Visitor Center, a non-profit created by Congress to serve as a partner in fundraising and oversight of the project to complete the last major addition to the US Capitol building.
Tom’s private sector experience includes two stints as head of public affairs for NYSE corporations, including Union Pacific Resources (UPR). He has also been President of Washington-based public affairs firm Hager Sharp, Inc., where he created the environment and industry practice.
- Tom is a graduate of Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC.
- Served as Communications Director to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA).
- Former Reagan and George W. Bush Administration official.
- Awarded Department of Transportation 9/11 Service Medal as “founding father” of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).