Michael Huerta

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Michael Huerta
Michael Huerta official picture.jpg
Administrator of the
Federal Aviation Administration
In office
December 6, 2011 – January 6, 2018
Acting: December 6, 2011 – January 7, 2013
President Barack Obama
Donald Trump
Deputy Victoria B. Wassmer (Acting)
Daniel Elwell
Preceded by Randy Babbitt
Succeeded by Daniel Elwell (Acting)
United States Secretary of Transportation
In office
January 20, 2017 – January 31, 2017
President Donald Trump
Preceded by Anthony Foxx
Succeeded by Elaine Chao
Personal details
Born (1956-11-18) November 18, 1956 (age 61)
Riverside, California, United States
Political party Democratic
Education University of California, Riverside (BA)
Princeton University (MPA)

Michael Peter Huerta (born November 18, 1956) was the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration of the United States of America.[1] He was sworn into office on January 7, 2013, for a five-year term ending on January 6, 2018.[2] He was responsible for the safety and efficiency of the largest aerospace system in the world and oversaw a $15.9 billion budget and more than 47,000 employees.


He received his bachelor's degree in political science from the University of California, Riverside and his master's in international relations from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.

Huerta was commissioner of New York City's Department of Ports, International Trade and Commerce from 1986 to 1989. In January 1989, he left to serve as the executive director of the Port of San Francisco until 1993. From 1993 to 1998 he held senior positions at the United States Department of Transportation in Washington, D.C., serving under Secretaries Federico Peña and Rodney E. Slater during the Administration of President Bill Clinton.

Huerta worked as a Managing Director with the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games,[3] preparing Salt Lake City's transportation outlets for the Olympics. Huerta was involved in the planning and construction of a variety of Olympic transportation facilities, as well as the development of a highly successful travel demand management system that made sure that the transportation system operated safely and efficiently. Huerta organized the logistics for the Olympic flame for its journey from Athens, Greece to Salt Lake City, Utah.

From 2002 to 2009, Huerta was Group President of the Transportation Solutions Group at Affiliated Computer Services, a company later acquired by Xerox, specializing in business processes and information technology.[4]

Federal Aviation Administration[edit]

President Obama nominated Huerta as Deputy Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). On January 26, 2010, Huerta appeared before Congress[5] for his confirmation hearing,[6] but his Congressional confirmation was held up by Texas Senator John Cornyn over fighter drones patrolling the Mexico–United States border near Corpus Christi.[7] Huerta waited over five months for his congressional confirmation; on June 23, 2010, he became Deputy Administrator of the FAA.

Huerta became Acting Administrator of the FAA upon the resignation of Randy Babbitt on December 6, 2011.[8] As Acting Administrator, Huerta helped oversee the operation of the National Airspace System and a $16 billion budget.

On March 27, 2012, President Barack Obama formally nominated him to serve as the next permanent Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration for a term of five years; the nomination was subsequently confirmed by the U.S. Senate on January 1, 2013.[9][10]

In June 2014, Huerta was named one of 8 Most Influential People in Drones by Drone Definition.[11]


Political offices
Preceded by
Randy Babbitt
Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration
Acting: 2011–2013
Succeeded by
Daniel Elwell
Preceded by
Anthony Foxx
United States Secretary of Transportation

Succeeded by
Elaine Chao