Jeff has a distinguished aviation career in government, holding senior policy positions at the US Department of Transportation and Department of State and the private sector as a partner with several prominent law firms. For those of you not familiar with Jeff’s background, here is his biography as issued by IATA .
Q: Are you a pilot?
A: No – wish I was.
Q: What is the coolest airplane you have ever flown in?
A: The Concorde. I did three transatlantic crossings and still have an amenity kit.
Q: Over the course of your career you have participated in a number of aviation safety projects. What do you consider to be the one project with the greatest safety impact?
A: Establishment of the FAA’s IASA program in the early 90’s.
Q: What aviation websites (other than JDA Journal) do you most frequently visit?
A: IATA.org; airlineinfo.com; centreforaviation.com; and FAA.gov.
Q: What phrase or words of wisdom and the author do you cite most frequently in your aviation work?
A: When something goes wrong and it’s beyond your control, I recall something a friend in Kenya used to say: “Hapana kufikiri mingi.” Loosely translated from the Swahili: “Don’t think about it too much.” It doesn’t have the same ring as “Hakuna matata,” but it’s the same idea. Words to live by.
Q: Who is your favorite person in aviation history?
A: Alan Boyd. He was a CAB Chairman in the ’60s when the CAB had safety responsibility; he helped author the DOT Act and wanted to deregulate transportation a decade before it happened; he was America’s first Secretary of Transportation; and he was the first North American Chairman of Airbus. He’s living in Seattle and I still see him from time to time. He’s a great man.
Q: Which do you prefer the Paris Air Show or Oshkosh?
A: Paris. The wine is better.
Q: What are you reading these days for fun?
A: Engines of Change by Paul Ingrassia, about some game-changing cars over the last century and the extraordinary executives that made them happen against all odds; Stacy Schiff’s amazing biography, Cleopatra; and Home Game, Michael Lewis’s hilarious account of what happens to your life when you become a dad for the first time.
Q: What tunes are on your iPod playlist?
A: According to iTunes, I have about 3500 tracks, or 10.4 days’ worth. Please don’t ask me to list them. It’s a hodge-podge. If I’m on a flight and not working, however, I most often opt for jazz piano, mostly played by Bill Evans.
Q: How do you spend your leisure moments?
A: I fool around on the piano, edit the latest videos of our two little girls, and, on very special occasions, sneak in a round of golf.