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New security director named for Hartsfield-Jackson

By Maria Jose Subiria

msubiria@news-daily.com

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport has a new federal security director.

Mary Leftridge Byrd was appointed to the post by the Transportation Security Administration for Atlanta's airport, the TSA announced Thursday.

"Her energy and determination will be real assets as she leads TSA operations at the world's busiest airport," said Lee Kair, assistant administrator for security operations for TSA. "A strong and dynamic leader, Mary has a proven track record in helping large organizations achieve success."

Before her current position with the TSA, Leftridge Byrd worked for the Washington State Department of Corrections as an assistant and deputy secretary, according to the TSA. She has been warden and superintendent of medium- and maximum-security institutions in Pennsylvania and Maryland. She began her career in 1974, the TSA said.

She has a Bachelor of Science degree from Pennsylvania State University, and received the criminal justice professional of the year award from the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives in 2005, the TSA said. In 2008, she was elected to the American Correctional Association, National Board of Governors, officials added.

"I am not a stranger with Atlanta, and enjoy the city, and I have family here," Leftridge Byrd said. "It's a great place to be."

Leftridge Byrd said she has been on site for about three weeks.

She said security is a No. 1 priority for her and her employees, and collaborating with the Department of Aviation at Hartsfield-Jackson also is of major importance. She said TSA officers are engaged and serious about their duties and responsibilities.