Loy to leave DHS

Homeland Security Department

Adm. James Loy, who is the Homeland Security Department's second in command, will step down from his position March 1, 2005.

Loy, a former career Coast Guard officer for about 38 years and former administrator of the Transportation Security Administration, has been DHS' deputy secretary since December 2003 and is widely hailed as an effective manager.

"His vision and commitment to the protection of our country during the department's early years will have a lasting effect for years to come," DHS Secretary Tom Ridge, who announced last month that he will step down from his position Feb. 1, 2005, said in a prepared statement.

In a press release, Rep. Christopher Cox (R-Calif.), who is chairman of the House Select Homeland Security Committee, said Loy "distinguished himself as a creative, long-range planner and a successful hands-on manager. And he was universally well-respected as Commandant of the Coast Guard, where he stressed readiness and strategic planning and introduced the Deep Water Program to modernize an aging fleet according to a mission-oriented and integrated acquisition strategy."

Loy served in the Coast Guard since 1964 when he graduated from the academy. He was the service's commandant from 1998 to 2002. Immediately after retirement, he was tapped by Transportation Department Secretary Norman Mineta as the first deputy undersecretary for transportation security and chief operating officer of TSA.

"The loss of two key leaders in rapid succession has to be worrisome, and replacements of their caliber will be hard to find," Cox added.

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