Assistant Inspector General for Aviation Audits
Nelda Z. Smith
As Assistant Inspector General for Aviation Audits, Ms. Smith is responsible for managing DOT OIG’s reviews of a wide range of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) programs, including the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen), air traffic control operations, and key aviation safety workforces.
Ms. Smith joined DOT OIG in 1998 in the Atlanta Field Office and served as an analyst conducting audits of FAA’s aviation safety programs. In 2015, she became a Project Manager in Office of Aviation Audits. In 2017, she was promoted to Program Director, leading managers and staff that conduct audits of FAA’s Air Traffic, Airports, Aviation Safety, and NextGen programs. She has managed complex, nationwide audits including several congressional requests and mandates covering a range of issues, including FAA’s contract tower program, aircraft evacuations, and NextGen priorities. Ms. Smith has also been instrumental in leading the Office of Aviation Audits’ airport grant management reviews, which have yielded millions of dollars in savings. Her teams’ audit results regularly contribute to congressional briefings and testimonies.
Ms. Smith entered Federal service through the prestigious Presidential Management Internship Program. Previously, she served as an auditor at the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General. With over 23 years of government audit experience, she has received numerous awards in recognition of her individual accomplishments and strong leadership abilities. She has significantly contributed to DOT OIG initiatives to promote staff development and foster high morale. Ms. Smith holds a bachelor of arts in political science from the University of Montevallo and a master’s in urban and regional planning from Alabama A&M University.