21:06 PM

TSA Director is taking security and diversity to new heights

Jenel L. Chang to depart MIA for leadership position at TSA headquarters

After climbing the ranks at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) over the past 15 years, including the past year as Federal Security Director (FSD) at Miami International Airport, Jenel L. Chang will ascend to a new level within the agency next month when she becomes TSA’s next Executive Director of Large Hub Airports.

Chang’s tenure at MIA came during an exciting time for the TSA’s partnership with the airport, when MIA served as a test bed location for new and emerging technologies from TSA headquarters such as credential authentication technology, computed tomography (CT) scanning equipment, drone detection, Mobile ID, and phone language services. 

Chang’s role as MIA’s FSD since last May has been to oversee more than 1,700 TSA professionals, including baggage and passenger screeners, law enforcement officers, regulatory security inspectors, and support staff, who are responsible for screening passengers and checked baggage and inspecting aviation, cargo, and surface transportation security procedures. Additionally, she has had direct oversight over TSA’s operations in six counties across South Florida and Puerto Rico. Most notably, Chang’s assignment also made her responsible for compliance inspection operations at the busiest U.S. airport for international freight.

Outside of her work responsibilities, Chang is a board member of the Women Executives at TSA (WE@TSA) as well as the Co-Chair of the DEIA Inclusion Action Committee (IAC) for TSA, driving diversity across the agency. During Women’s History Month this year, Chang reflected on her role as a female leader in the aviation sector.

“I am proud to be a female executive in the aviation industry because I am passionate about the work we do every day, and it gives me an opportunity to help other women in the industry to be successful by sharing the experiences I have had in order help others along their journey,” says Chang.

Prior to her assignment at MIA, Ms. Chang served as the FSD for the Pacific U.S. and was based at Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL). As the Pacific FSD, Chang oversaw operations in the State of Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Previously, she had served as the Deputy FSD at Washington Dulles International Airport and at HNL.

Chang joined the TSA in 2008 as the Deputy Program Manager for Checked Baggage, after which she advanced to Program Manager and was then promoted to Director for the Electronic Baggage Screening Program in the Office of Security Capabilities. Prior to joining TSA, FSD Chang worked at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio for 15 years, supporting multiple defense programs for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).

As Chang prepares to depart MIA for the next destination in her career, she carries with her fond memories of her time at the gateway of the Americas.

“The thing I love most about MIA is the level of diversity we have across our operations and the longevity of the people who have worked here,” said Chang.  “The relationships that have been fostered over the last 20 years here [since the creation of the TSA] are just amazing!”