UC Riverside alum top man at federal agency

RIVERSIDE – A UC Riverside alumnus is now at the helm of the world’s single-largest aerospace governance system.

Michael P. Huerta was sworn in earlier this week as chief of the Federal Aviation Administration. He had been the agency’s acting director for more than a year and was nominated by the president to serve a five-year term, which the U.S. Senate confirmed on Jan. 1.

”As deputy administrator and as acting administrator, Michael has managed a number of challenges over the past couple of years with tenacity, skill, and diplomacy,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said. ”As its new leader, I know he will ensure an even stronger future for the FAA and everyone who flies in our nation’s skies.”

Huerta earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from UCR in the 1970s and went on to attain a master’s in international relations from Princeton.

He was a commissioner for New York’s Department of Ports, International Trade and Commerce from 1986 to 1989, after which he held several private and public sector jobs, including within the Department of Transportation during the Clinton administration.

The Riverside native will manage a $16 billion budget at the FAA, which employs more than 47,000 people.

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