Speakers » Steve Karoly

Steve Karoly

Acting Assistant Administrator, Office of Requirements and Capabilities Analysis (ORCA), Transportation Security Administration, USA


Special Topic: Accomplishing airport transformation through biometric Entry/Exit

Moderator: John Mears

Other panelists:
Christian Revilla
Colleen Manaher

  • There is new momentum to implement biometric exit
  • Passenger numbers are rising - both security and traveler flow must be enhanced
  • Key stakeholders must work together


Recent Presidential orders have added pressure on DHS to implement existing legislative mandates and 9-11 Commission recommendations to accomplish both biometric exit processing of foreign travelers in addition to the existing biometric entry processing of those same travelers.
Extant airport infrastructure in the U.S. was not initially designed with these additional requirements in mind. The U.S. isn’t building new airports, but air travel is growing about 5% a year, and expected to double by 2030 – not long from now in airport infrastructure improvement years.  Unless both security AND traveler flow can be enhanced together, the existing U.S. airport infrastructure will be insufficient to handle this increase in traveler capacity.
While the technology exists to accomplish such improvements, unless all the key stakeholders – represented on this panel – work together with a unity of purpose, both security and passenger flow will be negatively impacted.  This panel will explore a positive vision of this unity of purpose, and highlight the roles that each stakeholder will play in realizing the vision.


Mr Stephen (Steve) J. Karoly is the Acting Assistant Administrator within the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) Office of Requirements and Capabilities Analysis (ORCA). In this role, Mr Karoly serves as the principal advisor on matters relating to capabilities and requirements used in all modes of transportation. Mr Karoly ensures that security technologies and processes are employed to meet the overall mission, vision, goals, and objectives of TSA and the Department of Homeland Security. As the Lead Business Authority, ORCA is the designated organization that has the lead for documenting the business case, translating operational requirements into capabilities, and accepting the capability. ORCA also serves as the project advocate throughout the planning, programming, and budgeting process. 

As a member of the Senior Executive Service, receiving his career appointment in September 2011, Mr Karoly brings over 32 years of acquisition and systems engineering experience from both a federal and industry perspective. Prior to accepting his present assignment, Mr Karoly served as the Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Office of Security Capabilities (OSC), overseeing the implementation and development, test and evaluation, acquisition, deployment, and maintenance of all TSA security technologies and systems across multiple modes of transportation. He directly supported TSA's mission by providing security capabilities to the field and continually enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of our Nation's transportation systems through the qualification and deployment of security capabilities that drive the global standard for security. Previously, he served as OSC’s Deployment and Logistics Division Director, where he was responsible for ensuring that the deployment and sustainment of security capabilities were viable to meet TSA's overall strategy and risk-based goals. 

Prior to joining TSA in 2014, Mr Karoly served as Assistant Director for Product Acquisition and Deployment at the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO), where he led a staff of engineers, scientists, and acquisition specialists whose mission was to acquire and deploy radiological and nuclear detection systems for DHS. He also served as DNDO’s acting Component Acquisition Executive, where he was responsible for the implementation, management and oversight of DNDO’s acquisition processes. Prior to joining DNDO, Mr Karoly served as the Director of Systems Engineering and Chief Systems Engineer at the Office of Technology Innovation and Acquisition, United States Customs and Border Protection, from 2009 to 2012. During this time, Mr Karoly led efforts in identifying, developing, and applying systems engineering principles and processes across numerous Border and Maritime security and trade facilitation programs. From 2001 to 2009, Mr Karoly served in various capacities across Department of Defense programs, to include Deputy Program Manager, Director of Engineering, and Director of Test and Analysis. 

Concurrently, Mr Karoly served in the United States Navy (active and reserve), where he retired as a Captain (O6) in October 2014. During his almost 30 years of service as a Surface Warfare Officer, he held numerous leadership positions, including Commanding Officer (5x) and Executive Officer (3x). 
Mr Karoly holds an M.S. in Systems Engineering from Johns Hopkins University and a B.S. (with Honors) in Nautical Science/Marine Transportation from the United States Merchant Marine Academy. Mr Karoly is the recipient of the Office of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Civilian Service and numerous military awards and decorations.



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