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TSA Administrator Pistole Announces Retirement


The longest-serving head of the Transportation Security Administration has announced that he will retire at the end of 2014.

TSA Administrator John Pistole announced on Thursday that he will retire on December 31. According to a press release from the TSA, Pistole was the longest serving administrator for the agency.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to have served as TSA Administrator,” Pistole stated in the press release. “No words can convey my deep gratitude for the hard work and dedication of the thousands of men and women committed to protecting the American public.”

Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, who oversees the TSA, issued a statement thanking Pistole for his years of service. A portion of Johnson’s statement read:

John Pistole has been integral in leading TSA’s transformation to a risk-based, intelligence-driven counterterrorism agency dedicated to protecting our transportation systems. Because of his efforts over the past four and a half years, our country’s transportation systems are more safe and secure. I am grateful for John’s contributions to DHS, TSA and our country.

Pistole was nominated to his current position by President Barack Obama in May 2010, and he received unanimous confirmation by the U.S. Senate. When Pistole took office in June 2010, the TSA’s reputation was suffering and its performance was under criticism from both Congress and the public, a report from USA Today  noted. Pistole is credited for improving the training of TSA agents, the implementation of the PreCheck program and the overall easing of screening procedures for trusted travelers.

According to a news release from Anderson University in Indiana, Pistole has been nominated to serve as the school’s president. If elected by Anderson University’s Board of Trustees and ratified by the General Assembly of the Church of God, Pistol would assume the new role in June 2015.

[Photo: Molly Riley, AP]

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