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John S. Pistole


Photo of John S. PistoleJohn S. Pistole was confirmed as the Transportation Security Administration’s fifth administrator in July 2010. As TSA administrator, he oversees management of a 60,000-strong workforce, the security operations of more than 450 federalized airports throughout the United States, the federal air marshal service, and security for highways, railroads, ports, mass transit systems and pipelines.

Under his leadership, TSA continues to grow as a risk-based, intelligence-driven counterterrorism agency dedicated to protecting the U.S. transportation systems.

Pistole came to TSA as a 26-year veteran of the FBI with extensive national security and counterterrorism experience. After the tragic events of September 11, 2001, he was in charge of the FBI’s greatly expanded counterterrorism program, eventually becoming the FBI’s executive assistant director for counterterrorism and counterintelligence. In 2004, Pistole was named deputy director for the FBI.

Pistole has led or been involved in several high profile investigations, including the attempted car bombing in Times Square on May 1, 2010; the December 25, 2009, attempted attack on Northwest Flight 253; the plot against New York City subways in 2009; the 2006 UK liquid explosives plot; and the May 2003 suicide bombings of three housing compounds in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in which 35 people died, including nine Americans.

Pistole began his career as a special agent with the FBI in 1983, serving in the Minneapolis and New York divisions before his promotion to supervisor in the organized crime section at FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C. In 1999, as assistant special agent in charge in Boston, he helped lead investigation and recovery efforts for the Egypt Air Flight 990 crash off the coast of Rhode Island.

In 2007, Pistole received the Edward H. Levi Award for Outstanding Professionalism and Exemplary Integrity. He is a recipient of the 2005 Presidential Rank Award for Distinguished Executive.

Pistole practiced law for two years prior to joining the FBI. He is a graduate of Anderson University (Indiana) and Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis. He is married and has two daughters.

Latest revision: 31 January 2014