Mr. Jackson is an executive and entrepreneur with deep operational experience in transportation, homeland security and technology innovation. His career includes positions in both the public and private sectors.
From March 2005 through October 2007, Jackson was Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) – the chief operating officer responsible for managing day-to-day operations. Formed in 2003, DHS had 210,000 employees during his tenure, with an annual budget of roughly $48 billion. Its seven operating components and over twenty supporting organizations span the range of homeland security missions, including: counter-terrorism; emergency management; law enforcement; border security; critical infrastructure protection; research programs; and intelligence analysis.
Jackson also served as Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) from May 2001 to August 2003, where his tenure was largely focused on DOT’s response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In the Administration of President George H. W. Bush, he served at the White House as Special Assistant to the President for Cabinet Liaison and later as Chief of Staff for the Secretary of Transportation. In the Administration of President Ronald Reagan, he held several positions working for the Secretary of Education.
Jackson founded Firebreak Partners in 2008. In the private sector, he was Chairman and CEO of security software provider VidSys, Inc. (2012-2015) and Senior Vice President of AECOM (2003-2005), a global family of design and engineering firms. In 2004, he was a member of the President's Commission on Implementation of United States Space Exploration Policy, which provided a management roadmap for undertaking NASA’s future missions. Prior to joining DOT in 2001, he served as Chief Operating Officer for Lockheed Martin IMS’s Transportation Systems and Services. From 1993-1997 he was Senior Vice President at the American Trucking Associations.
A Houston native, Jackson has a Ph.D. (Government) with distinction from Georgetown University and has taught at Georgetown and the University of Georgia.