Monday, August 22, 2011

Thad W. Allen's Finmeccanica Board Slot

Retired Admiral Thad W. Allen was appointed to SELEX Galileo's Board of Directors.  The appointment came one year and six days after the BP's Deepwater Horizon exploded in a massive fireball, killing fifteen people.  SELEX Galileo is a division of Finmeccanica and the company's core competence includes unmanned aerial vehicles.  SELEX's press release stated on Thad's appointment:

Allen's distinguished career includes leading the federal response and recovery efforts in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, when he served as the principal federal official as well as the Coast Guard chief of staff.
Oddly, Frances Townsend also played a key role in Hurricane Katrina, crafting the abysmal White House Lessons Learned report.  After Fran left public service, she too was appointed to the board of a Finmeccanica subsidiary, DRS Technologies. 

Most recently, Admiral Allen managed the response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, when he was appointed by the White House as the national incident commander, a position he continued to serve after his official retirement from the USCG in June, 2010.
Thad fused the BP job with obfuscation and double talk.  Here's his take on his board slot with SELEX Galileo:

“The enduring challenge of maintaining technical superiority in the acquisition and fusion of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance information in an era of diverse global threats is the focus of SELEX Galileo's business. I look forward to working [those challenges] with the team,” said Thad Allen.
Thad was consistently late with and short on information on the BP Oil Spew.  Word had it OMB, i.e. Peter Orszag controlled the Thadster.  While Orszag went to Citi, Thad landed with RAND.  They still meet around a teak board table at the Partnership for Public Service.

Finmeccanica likes incompetent ex-Homeland Security officials who blame unprecedented events.  Fran Townsend omitted the hospital with the highest Katrina death toll from her report, while Thad couldn't ever get skimming down, despite a tutorial

Fran's board slots started slow, but accelerated.  Thad's private sector profitgasm could do likewise.  Stay tuned.