Michael O'Harra was appointed Regional Administrator for the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Southern Region in January 2018. Mr. O'Harra serves as the senior agency official within the eight-state region including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee, as well as the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Mr. O'Harra serves as the FAA Administrator's primary representative to Congressional, state, local and tribal officials, aviation industry, educational institutions, civic organizations and other Federal agencies, and spokesperson for the Agency within his geographic area of responsibility. He is responsible for outreach activities to stakeholders and local communities regarding environmental impacts and noise management issues, as well as information sharing on initiatives such as NextGen, Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) integration, Commercial Space, airport improvements and airspace and procedure changes. Mr. O'Harra provides leadership for the 24/7 Regional Operations Centers (ROCs) that communicate information on aircraft accidents and other emergencies impacting aviation operations to appropriate internal and external entities.
Mr. O'Harra's previous appointment was as the Deputy Regional Administrator for the FAA Southwest Region in February 2008, which included serving as the Regional Emergency Transportation Coordinator (RETCO) to ensure effective transportation emergency planning and response for incidents of national significance for the Department of Transportation's Region 6.
His FAA career also includes various leadership positions as an acting Chief Information Officer and as the national Operational Integration Manager, where he was instrumental in the effective oversight of several major capacity initiatives. Mr. O'Harra also chaired the FAA Airport Obstruction Standards Committee (AOSC) working group that was responsible for developing corporate policy solutions to highly visible issues in the airport environment. He previously held positions in private industry for nearly a decade spanning both aviation and aerospace fields.
Mr. O'Harra graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland. Michael and his wife, Cristy, have three daughters.