Bookmark and ShareAn Address by TSA Administrator John Pistole

Policy and Research Forum Event

This Event in the News:

Passengers Continue to Pack Guns in Carry-On Luggage, TSA Says
CQ Homeland Security | November 10, 2011

TSA Confiscates More Than 1,000 Guns From Airplane Passengers in 2011
ABC News | November 10, 2011

TSA: Be aware of security issues on mass transit
AP | November 10, 2011

Thursday, November 10, 2011

2:00 pm until 3:00 pm 



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On Thursday, November 10, 2011, HSPI hosted a Policy and Research Forum featuring John S. Pistole, Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Administrator Pistole discussed risk-based, intelligence-driven counterterrorism efforts, and highlighted the layered security approach and advances of TSA technology over the last decade. 

Moderated By: Frank Cilluffo, Director, Homeland Security Policy Institute

Frank J. Cilluffo, an Associate Vice President at The George Washington University leads GW's homeland security efforts on policy, research, education, and training. Cilluffo directs the multi-disciplinary Homeland Security Policy Institute, a nonpartisan “think and do tank” that builds bridges between theory and practice to advance homeland security through a multi and interdisciplinary approach.


Speaker Biography

John S. Pistole, Secretary, U.S. Transportation Security Admininstration

John S. Pistole was confirmed as the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) 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 U.S., the Federal Air Marshal Service (FAMS), and the security for highways, railroads, ports, mass transit systems and pipelines.

Under his leadership, TSA will continue to grow as a risk-based, intelligence-driven counterterrorism agency dedicated to protecting our 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 put 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, 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. Levy Award for Outstanding Professionalism and Exemplary Integrity. He is a recipient of the 2005 Presidential Rank Award for Distinguished Executive.



Ahlers, Mike M. (2011) "TSA: Screeners find 4-5 guns on a typical day." CNN.

Bykowicz, Julie. (2011) "TSA Lacks Criteria to Judge Non-U.S. Air Security, GAO Says." Bloomberg.

GAO (2011). "Aviation Security: TSA Has Taken Actions to Improve Security, but Additional Efforts Remain."

GAO (2011). "Homeland Security: DHS and TSA Acquisition and Development of New Technologies."

GAO (2011). "Rail Security: TSA Improved Risk Assessment but Could Further Improve Training and Information Sharing."

Pistole, John. (2011) "Ten Years after 9/11: The Next Wave in Aviation Security." Statement Before the United States Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

Rockwell, Mark. (2011) "TSA ID check trials showing positive results, says Pistole." Government Security News.

About HSPI's Policy & Research Forum Series

HSPI's Policy & Research Forum Series spotlights cutting-edge security policy solutions and innovative research.  The Series is designed to provide thought leaders in the United States and abroad with a uniquely constructive venue in which to discuss current and future security issues and challenges.