Randy D. Parsons is the Director of Security for the Port of Long Beach, California. The U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) executive and FBI veteran was named to the post October 15, 2012, by the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners, the Port’s five-member governing body. The Port’s executive staff conducted an extensive nationwide search to identify the top candidate to fill the position that had been vacant since the retirement of Cosmo Perrone in May 2011.
As head of the Security Division for the nation’s second-busiest seaport, Mr. Parsons oversees more than 80 security personnel, including Harbor Patrol officers, and he directs the Homeland Security Program for the 3,000-acre Port complex, including 24-hour patrols, anti-terrorism programs and security coverage. The Port has invested hundreds of millions of dollars to upgrade security in the last decade with a combination of high-tech “domain-awareness” systems and highly trained personnel. The Division also fosters cooperation among the law enforcement and security agencies in the Port complex, including the Long Beach Police Department, the Port of Los Angeles, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Marine Exchange and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Mr. Parsons has had a distinguished and varied career in counterterrorism, transportation security, education and law enforcement. He joined TSA as the Federal Security Director at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in March 2009. In August 2010, he moved into the same position at Los Angeles International Airport where he served until coming to the Port.
After retiring from the FBI in 2005 after 20 years of service, Mr. Parsons worked in the private sector before joining TSA. He was Vice President and in-house consultant for the AECOM global consortium of companies providing architectural, design and engineering services to diverse critical infrastructure clients. He also founded Global Strategic Solutions, LLC, and providing consultation for strategic policy, planning and development within a variety of risk environments to governmental and private sector clientele.
His last assignment with the FBI was as the Special Agent in Charge for the Counterterrorism Program in the Los Angeles office. He led four Joint Terrorism Task Forces and directed the operational readiness of personnel and systems for crisis response.
He began his career in Topeka, Kansas, as a police officer, then as an Associate Professor in the Criminal Justice Department of Washburn University and finally as an attorney in private practice before joining the FBI in 1985. He remains an active member of the Kansas Bar.
Randy Parsons earned his Juris Doctorate degree and Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice from Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas, and his Master of Arts degree in Criminal Justice from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. He is currently a member of the adjunct facility at the USC Sol Price School of Planning and a member of the Government Advisory Committee for USC’s Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events.
He has also been a guest lecturer/presenter at Cornell School of Law, Pepperdine University, USC and the Center for Asymmetric Warfare and published a number of articles on emergency preparedness, response, recovery and transportation security.
No stranger to the Port of Long Beach, he was a charter member and first co-chair of the Area Maritime Security Committee for the Port Complex at Long Beach/Los Angeles. He serves as an executive board member for the Port of Long Beach/Los Angeles Area Maritime Security Committee, the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, and the LAX Security Advisory Council and was appointed in 2011 to the Los Angeles Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Aviation Security.
Mr. Parsons is originally from Winfield, Kansas. He is married, with one child, and now makes his home in Lomita.
Entering its second century of service, The Port of Long Beach is the second busiest seaport in the United States, a primary gateway for transpacific trade and a trailblazer in innovative goods movement, safety and environmental stewardship. The Port is served by 140 shipping lines with connections to 217 seaports around the world. Customer and community service is at the core of the Port’s operations, and, year after year, industry leaders name Long Beach the best seaport in North America. A major economic engine for the region, the Port handles trade valued at more than $150 billion each year and supports hundreds of thousands of Southern California jobs. A $4.5 billion capital improvement program in underway to support Port growth and strengthen its ability to eclipse new competition, serve the goods-movement industry, Port clients and the community.