This author has learned that a new FAA chief counsel was quietly appointed over two months ago. On January 23, 2012, Kathryn B. Thomson took over the FAA Chief Counsel position from Acting Chief Counsel and Deputy Chief Counsel Marc Warren, who took over the position when former Chief Counsel David Grizzle became the Chief Air Traffic Officer. Thomson comes from the Department of Transportation, where she served as an environmental advisor to Secretary Ray LaHood. Thomson is also married to Christopher Lu, the White House Cabinet Secretary and then-Senator Obama’s legislative director and chief of staff, and is also listed as a fundraiser for the 2008 Barack Obama presidential campaign.
As of this posting, a search of online news and the FAA’s press releases did not yield any returns for Thomson’s appointment.
As Chief Counsel, Thomson will be in a position to influence an agency that has seen many whistleblower disclosures and retaliation complaints through the years.