Robert Sturgell, deputy FAA administrator since March 2003, has become acting FAA Administrator following the end of Marion Blakey’s five-year term on September 13.
He has also been acting as COO of the FAA’s Air Traffic Organization since the departure of Russell Chew while the agency conducted a search for Chew’s successor. The agency announced that former United Airlines pilot Henry Krakowski will fill that position.
Before becoming deputy administrator, Sturgell served as Blakey’s senior counsel. He had also held the position of senior policy advisor at the NTSB, where he served as the chairman’s primary advisor and coordinator on the Safety Board’s recommendations, policy programs and other safety initiatives. Blakey was NTSB chairman before she took the top job at the FAA.
Before joining the NTSB, Sturgell was a flight operations supervisor and line pilot for United Airlines, flying the Boeing 757 and 767 in domestic and international operations. Also an attorney, he has practiced aviation law at the Washington, D.C. law firm Shaw Pittman.
A former naval aviator, Sturgell was an instructor at the Navy Fighter Weapons School (Top Gun) and flew the F-14, F/A-18, F-16 and A-4.