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Tue, May 18, 2010

Third Time's A Charm? President Obama Nominates John Pistole To Head TSA

Current Position Is Deputy Director At FBI

President Obama's third choice to fill the top job at TSA should have no trouble with an F.B.I. background check, since his current position is deputy director of the F.B.I.

The President has tapped John S. Pistole (pictured, right) as Assistant Secretary for the TSA. Pistole has held the number 2 spot at the F.B.I. since 2004.

Prior to becoming FBI Deputy Director in 2004, Mr. Pistole previously worked in the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division, beginning in 2002 as Deputy Assistant Director for Operations, then as Assistant Director for Counterterrorism, and later as Executive Assistant Director for Counterterrorism and Counterintelligence.

Mr. Pistole began his career as a Special Agent with the FBI in 1983. He served in the Minneapolis and New York Divisions before being promoted to a Supervisor in the Organized Crime Section at FBI Headquarters. Mr. Pistole later served as a field supervisor of a White-Collar Crime and Civil Rights Squad in Indianapolis, Indiana, and then as Assistant Special Agent in Charge in Boston, Massachusetts.

In 1999, Mr. Pistole helped lead the investigative and recovery efforts for the Egypt Air Flight 990 crash off the coast of Rhode Island. Following the espionage arrest of Robert Hanssen, Mr. Pistole helped lead the Information Security Working Group in 2001, addressing security and vulnerability issues. He was then named an Inspector in the FBI’s Inspection Division.

Mr. Pistole is a recipient of the 2005 Presidential Rank Award for Distinguished Executive and, in 2007, the Department of Justice Edward H. Levy Award for Outstanding Professionalism and Exemplary Integrity. Prior to joining the FBI, Mr. Pistole practiced law for two years. He is a graduate of Anderson University and the Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis

In a statement released Monday, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano praised Obama's choice. “John’s national security and counterterrorism expertise will be a great asset to the Department in our efforts to enhance the security of our vital transportation systems,” said Secretary Napolitano. “Strong and effective transportation security requires proactive measures and a strong understanding of the evolving threat picture. John’s significant experience and expertise in this field—which I have seen firsthand over the last 16 months—will serve both TSA and the traveling public well,"

President Obama's first two choices for the position withdrew during the confirmation process due to questions about past conduct. TSA has been without a permanent director since Obama took office 16 months ago.

FMI: www.tsa.gov

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