Adm. Thomas Barrett leaves his position as Deputy Secretary of the Department of Transportation with my deepest gratitude for all the fine work he has done here. He leaves behind him a bar set impossibly high for those who follow.
First, Tom thrived in a 35-year Coast Guard career in which he attained the position of Vice Commandant.
Then, he took on the job of the first administrator of DOT’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. Tom undertook the difficult work of organizing a new federal agency with a critical safety mission. Under his tenure and since, PHMSA has effectively fulfilled its charge.
Finally, Tom agreed to remain in office as Dep-Sec during the transition between administrations. Because of his knowledge and wisdom we have made a quick start on economic recovery and other urgent priorities.
Of course, such a brief recap necessarily ignores the details that truly distinguish Tom's public service career.
And, that career is far from over; I wish Tom all the best as he becomes Deputy Federal Coordinator at the Office of the Federal Coordinator for Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Projects.
His service to the nation continues. We should all be grateful.