John S. Pistole

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John S. Pistole
John S. Pistole official photo.jpg
President of Anderson University
Assumed office
March 2, 2015
Preceded byJames L. Edwards
Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration
In office
June 25, 2010 – December 31, 2014
PresidentBarack Obama
DeputyMelvin Carraway
Preceded byKip Hawley
Succeeded byPeter V. Neffenger
Deputy Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation
In office
October 1, 2004 – May 17, 2010
PresidentGeorge W. Bush
Barack Obama
Preceded byBruce Gebhardt
Succeeded byTimothy P. Murphy
Personal details
Born (1956-06-01) June 1, 1956 (age 62)
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
EducationAnderson University, Indiana (BA)
Indiana University, Indianapolis (JD)

John S. Pistole (born June 1, 1956) is the former administrator of the United States Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and a former deputy director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.[1] He is currently the president of Anderson University.


Pistole was born on June 1, 1956 in Baltimore, Maryland.[2][3] He is a graduate of Anderson University and the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. Pistole practiced law for two years before joining the FBI in 1983.[4]

Public service[edit]

Since the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks, John Pistole has been involved in the formation of terrorism policies during the Bush and Obama administrations.

9/11 Commission[edit]

On April 14, 2004, Pistole testified before the 9/11 Commission at its 10th public hearing on a panel, Preventing Future Attacks Inside the United States.

On June 16, 2004, Pistole testified before the 9/11 Commission at its 12th public hearing. The page on the 9/11 Commission website does not include Pistole's name, and the PDF transcript does not list him as a participant, but he testified on June 16, 2004 as a panelist. He discussed threat levels of a possible attack by Al-Qaeda in 2004, as well as other topics.[5]

On August 23, 2004, Pistole testified before Congress about changes the FBI made in response to the 9/11 Commission.[6]

Pistole and Valerie E. Caproni were the two FBI officials who approved a memo laying out the FBI's policy on the limits to the interrogation of captives taken during the United States' war on terror.[7] The memo was from the FBI's general counsel, to all offices, explaining that FBI officials were not allowed to engage in coercive interrogations; FBI officials were not allowed to sit in on coercive interrogations conducted by third parties; FBI officials were required to immediately report any instances of suspected coercive interrogation up the FBI chain of command.


Pistole served as deputy director of the FBI from October 2004 to May 2010. As deputy director, Pistole was second in command within the FBI and pivotally involved in the formation of terrorism policies.

Pistole and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano meet with President Obama in the Oval Office.


Pistole was nominated by President Barack Obama to serve as administrator of the Transportation Security Administration on May 17, 2010 and was unanimously confirmed to serve in that position by the United States Senate on June 25, 2010. On November 16, 2010 Pistole defended his agency's new extensive pat-down procedures and Advanced Imaging Technology (A.I.T) as necessary.

On November 21, 2010, Pistole again justified the new search policies on CNN saying "We know through intelligence that there are determined people, terrorists who are trying to kill not only Americans but innocent people around the world."[8] On November 21, 2010, Pistole acknowledged new TSA screening procedures are "invasive" and "uncomfortable" but said they were necessary. Many questions raised by American citizens regarding this policy remain unanswered and Pistole has remained silent regarding significant constitutional objections.

After a February 2011 attempt by a TSA VIPR team in Savannah to search passengers disembarking from an Amtrak train, the TSA was banned from Amtrak property by Amtrak Police Chief John O'Connor.

On October 16, 2014, Pistole announced that he would retire as TSA administrator effective December 31, 2014, and take a position in academia. On October 27, 2014, he was elected to be the fifth president of his alma mater, Anderson University in Anderson, Indiana.[9]

On May 30, 2017, news broke that President Donald Trump contacted Pistole about an interview to fill the opening created by the firing of FBI Director James Comey.[10]

Anderson University[edit]

On March 2, 2015, Pistole began his presidency as Anderson University's fifth president. Students of Anderson University commonly refer to him as "PJP" (President John Pistole).


  1. ^ "John S. Pistole - Deputy Director of the FBI". Federal Bureau of Investigation. Archived from the original on April 11, 2007. Retrieved April 24, 2007.
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on February 9, 2015. Retrieved January 25, 2012.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ [2] Archived November 27, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "9-11 Commission Hearing 2004-06-16" (PDF). Retrieved May 30, 2017.
  6. ^ Statement Of John S. Pistole Executive Assistant Director Counterterrorism/Counterintelligence Federal Bureau Of Investigation Before The House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security, August 23, 2004.
  7. ^ "Initial Set of Documents Received from DIA/DOS/FBI". American Civil Liberties Union. October 15, 2004. Retrieved April 24, 2007.
  8. ^ Tom Cohen. "Enhanced pat-downs necessary for now, TSA chief says". Retrieved May 30, 2017.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 27, 2014. Retrieved October 27, 2014.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 31, 2017. Retrieved May 30, 2017.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
Government offices
Preceded by
Bruce Gebhardt
Deputy Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation
Succeeded by
Timothy Murphy
Preceded by
Gale Rossides
Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration
Succeeded by
Melvin Carraway
Academic offices
Preceded by
James L. Edwards
President of Anderson University