Peter Neffenger

Distinguished Senior Fellow; Former Administrator of the Transportation Security Agency

Peter Neffenger was appointed in 2015 by President Obama to head the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), a position he held until January 2017. Prior to this he enjoyed a distinguished and high profile career in the US Coast Guard, most recently serving as the 29th Vice Commandant, and as the Deputy National Incident Commander during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon BP oil spill, the largest and most complex in US history. When he took the helm of the embattled TSA, the agency’s challenges were substantial and numerous. His subsequent transformation of the entire organization earned the TSA widespread recognition as the turnaround agency of the year and led to his being named one of the 25 most influential business travel executives of 2016 by Business Travel News. 

He holds a Master in Public Administration from Harvard University, Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the US Naval War College, Master of Arts in Business Management from Central Michigan University, and a Bachelor of Arts from Baldwin Wallace University, from where he recently received an honorary Doctorate (Doctor of Public Service). He is a two--‐time recipient of the Department of Homeland Security’s Distinguished Service Medal and is a Distinguished Fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Center for Resilience.

Courses Taught

Course Section: 001
On-Campus Day(s): Friday, Saturday
On-Campus Time(s):

On-campus meetings for Spring 2018 will be held on the following Friday afternoons (2-5:30pm) and Saturday mornings (9:30am-1pm): January 12-13, February 9-10, March 16-17, April 20-21.  

Online Day(s): Monday
Online Time: 6:30pm-7:30pm
Course Description:

This course is designed to provide students with a scientific foundation of management and leadership theory to inform their actions as current and aspiring public leaders. We will draw from diverse disciplines within applied social science including positive psychology, organizational psychology, system thinking, and change management. Students will have the opportunity to apply these theoretical frameworks to their specific academic and professional interests, and will play an important role in the direction of the course. The course will feature national and local public leaders as guest lecturers based on the areas of interest identified by students.

A wait list will be kept for this course. To be added to the wait list, please email Josh Power at

This is a "hybrid" course, with synchronous, online meetings and once-monthly,on-campus meetings. Synchronous online meetings will be held on Mondays 6:30-7:30pm. On-campus meetings for Spring 2018 will be held on the following Friday afternoons (2-5:30pm) and Saturday mornings (9:30am-1pm): January 12-13, February 9-10, March 16-17, April 20-21. 

Social Media


Contact Information

Fels Institute of Government
University of Pennsylvania
3814 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Phone: (215) 898-2600
Fax: (215) 746-2829