October 16, 2014 12:00 PM, EDT

TSA Administrator Pistole to Retire Dec. 31

Transportation Security Administration Administrator John Pistole will retire effective Dec. 31 from the post he has held the past 4½ years, TSA announced Oct. 16.  

Since June 2010, Pistole has overseen the agency that is not only responsible for oversight of security at 450 U.S. airports, but also in charge of the Transportation Worker Identification Credential program.

“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,” Pistole said in a statement.

Before assuming the reins of TSA, Pistole spent 26 years at the FBI.

He is expected to be named to a position in academia beginning in early 2015, TSA said.

 “Under John’s leadership, TSA launched its ‘Trusted Traveler’ program, TSA PreCheck,which more than 5 million passengers per week now use at 120 airports,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “John brought to TSA extensive experience in national security, counterterrorism and fighting organized crime.”