TSA Administrator to Resign
Agency’s labor-friendly and longest serving chief will step down at the end of the year.
The Transportation Security Administration’s chief will retire at the end of the year, the agency announced Thursday.
John Pistole, who led TSA since June 2010, was the longest serving administrator in the agency’s history. Pistole was a hero to many federal employees, as he presided over the first unionization of TSA’s workforce.
“During his tenure the American Federation of Government Employees negotiated the first collective bargaining agreement for TSA employees, leading to advances in safety, working conditions, and morale,” said J. David Cox, national president of AFGE, which represents TSA workers.
Pistole previously worked for the FBI for 24 years, including six as the bureau’s deputy director.
"It has been an honor and a privilege to have served as TSA administrator,” Pistole said in a statement. “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. 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."
Jeh Johnson, secretary of the Homeland Security Department, TSA’s parent agency, thanked Pistole for his counsel and “devotion to duty.”
“John Pistole has been integral in leading TSA’s transformation to a risk-based, intelligence-driven counterterrorism agency dedicated to protecting our transportation systems,” Johnson said. “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. I congratulate John on his career as a selfless public servant and wish him and his family the very best as he leaves TSA.”
Lawmakers from both parties issued statements thanking Pistole for his service and noting his more nuanced approach to security, which moved away from the “one size fits all” strategy the agency previously employed.
AFGE vowed to work with Pistole in his remaining time as administrator, and with his replacement, to expand workplace protections for TSA employees, such as the right to file an appeal with the Merit Systems Protection Board. Pistole will pursue a career in academia beginning next year, TSA said.
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