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APSU taps alumnus, national policy adviser as commencement speaker

April 15, 2003

An Austin Peay alumnus who holds a key post as a national policy adviser will give the keynote address during APSUs Spring 2003 Commencement on May 9.

Ronnie Carter was a founding member of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the new federal agency formed by the Aviation Transportation Security Act of November 2001. Under this Act, TSA is charged with providing security for the traveling public and for all commercial transportation.
April 15, 2003

An Austin Peay alumnus who holds a key post as a national policy adviser will give the keynote address during APSU's Spring 2003 Commencement on May 9.

Ronnie Carter was a founding member of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the new federal agency formed by the Aviation Transportation Security Act of November 2001. Under this Act, TSA is charged with providing security for the traveling public and for all commercial transportation.

As the fifth person to join the first pure government start-up agency in 70 years, Carter has been instrumental in setting the policy and programs surrounding President George Bush's national security initiative, which was brought on by the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

As senior policy adviser to the Office of the Administrator for TSA, Carter has shown a high level of competence in briefing the secretary of transportation, the deputy secretary, the chief of staff and the administrator on critical policy issues.

Currently, he is charged with establishing the national logistics network for TSA's field operations.

After graduating from APSU in 1988 with a major in history and minor in political science, Carter served as a professional military officer in the United States Marine Corps, both as a tank commander and logistician. Now he is a major in the USMC Reserve, serving the War Fighting Command/Joint Operations Center at Quantico, Va.

In 1996 Carter earned his master's degree in public administration from the prestigious John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

From 1996 until he was named to his current position in Washington, D.C., Carter was an executive adviser to cabinet-level officials in the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation and the Tennessee Department of Transportation.

In addition to his work with TSA, Carter manages the international fan club for his sister, the County Music Association (CMA) Award-winning country music artist, Deana Carter, who gave a benefit concert at APSU after the tornado of January 1999.

As a student at APSU, Carter served as assistant director of intramurals and a resident assistant. A member of the nationally ranked APSU Debate Team, he was named to “Outstanding College Students of America” and “Who's Who Among America's College Students.” In 1998, he was selected as an “APSU Outstanding Student Leader” and was one of three finalists for the coveted William McClure Drane Award, presented during Commencement to the most outstanding baccalaureate graduate as chosen by the faculty.

This month, Carter will be on campus for his induction into the Academic Hall of Fame of The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi as well as Omicron Delta Kappa Leadership Honorary.

Carter is married to the former Cheryl Jackson, and they have three children, Alexandra, 7, Kate, 4, and Jackie, 2. The family resides in Fredericksburg, Va.