Mary Schiavo

Aviation Analyst

Mary Schiavo is a CNN aviation analyst.


Mary Schiavo is a CNN aviation analyst. With years of experience in transportation litigation, Mary has represented victims and their families suffering from negligence of airline, automotive, commercial trucking, motor coach and rail companies. Throughout her career in law and public service, Schiavo has sought accountability and industry change from corporations, institutions and the government so that they may meet their obligation to protect the safety and security of the traveling public.

Schiavo has held numerous government appointments under three U.S. Presidents, including that of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Transportation from 1990 to 1996. Under Schiavo’s direction, the agency investigated air safety, crimes and disasters; secured more than 1,000 criminal convictions; and exposed billions of dollars of fraud, waste and abuse of taxpayer money. She testified before Congress multiple times on transportation safety, security, budgeting and infrastructure. In recognition of her work combating the use of bogus aircraft parts worldwide, Schiavo was honored by Aviation Week with its Aviation Laurel Award in 1992 and 1995 and was inducted into the Aviation Laurel Hall of Fame in 1997.

As an Assistant U.S. Attorney early in her career, Schiavo litigated civil cases and prosecuted federal white-collar crimes, bank and securities fraud, mail and wire fraud, drug trafficking and counterfeiting. During her appointment, she also served on the U.S. Department of Justice’s Organized Crime and Racketeering Strike Force, prosecuting high-profile criminal cases of bank and securities fraud and related mail and wire fraud.

In 1987, Schiavo was selected as a White House Fellow and assigned to the U.S. Attorney General, where she worked as the Special Assistant for Criminal Affairs.

A frequent on-air contributor or consultant for several networks, Schiavo has also appeared on ABC, CBS, Fox News, NBC, BBC, History Channel, and Discovery Channel. Named by Glamour magazine as a 1997 Woman of the Year, 1987 Working Woman of the Year and a Top Ten College Student in 1975. Schiavo is the author of Flying Blind, Flying Safe (1997), a New York Times bestseller, featured in Time magazine for exposing the poor safety and security practices of the airlines and the failures of the federal government to properly regulate the aviation industry. She contributed to Aviation Security Management (Volume One, 2008) and Supply Chain Security (Volumes One and Two, 2010).

Schiavo received her pilot’s license soon after her driver’s license, and later completed private and commercial flight training at The Ohio State University. She returned to The Ohio State University as the McConnell Aviation Chair and professor from 1998 to 2002 and as the Enarson Professor of Public Policy from 1997 to1998. She has also served as a practitioner in residence at the New York University School of Law.