DOT taps Leader as new JPDO chief

The Transportation Department named Charles Leader, an aviation industry veteran, as the new director of the multi-agency task force overseeing Next Generation Air Transportation System development.

Leader, who served 17 years in the Marines, replaces acting Joint Planning and Development Office director Robert Pearce. Pearce will become deputy director.

JPDO consists of seven agencies'the departments of Transportation, Commerce, Defense, Homeland Security, the Federal Aviation Administration, NASA, and the White House Office of Science and Technology policy.

The office's chief responsibility is to oversee NGATS, an attempt to modernize and expand the nation's aviation system, which is expected to handle three times more air traffic by 2025 than there is today.

Leader received a bachelor's degree from the University of Notre Dame and a master's degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Business. He has held leadership positions at several aviation firms, including Hughes Aircraft and was a partner at the international consulting firm McKinsey & Co., specializing in aerospace and defense issues.

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