TSA Chief John Pistole Retiring

John Pistole retiring

John Pistole retiring as TSA chief; no immediate successor is known.

The leader of the Transportation Security Administration, John Pistole, announced on Thursday that he will retire from the office effective December 31, 2014.

Pistole has served over four years as head of the agency that is charged with screening aircraft and passengers to ensure the security of the nation’s airports and travelers.

According to the USA Today:

Pistole, a 26-year veteran of the FBI, boosted the agency’s professionalism and shifted its approach to risk-based screening focusing greater scrutiny on travelers who were less known to authorities or who represented a known threat.

“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,” Pistole said. “I could not be more proud of all that our employees have accomplished together, particularly what they have done to help enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of transportation security while improving the passenger screening experience.”

Pistole said he expected to be named to a position in academia in 2015.

President Obama nominated Pistole in May 2010 and he was confirmed unanimously by the Senate.

The Secretary of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson, thanked Pistole for his service and applauded him for his focus on screening programs, such as Global Entry and TSA Pre-Check as a hallmark of his tenure with the agency.  Secretary Johnson said, “John brought to TSA extensive experience in national security, counterterrorism and fighting organized crime.  Because of his efforts over the past four and a half years, our country’s transportation systems are more safe and secure.”

There was no immediate information available on when a replacement would be named.

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