Former Homeland Security official to speak at Harrisburg commencement

Adm. James M. Loy, retired deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Coast Guard commandant, will deliver Penn State Harrisburg’s spring commencement address on Saturday, May 5. The college will confer more than 600 undergraduate and graduate degrees during the ceremony, which starts at 9:30 a.m. at the Giant Center in Hershey.

In 2005, Loy completed a 45-year career in public service. As deputy secretary of Homeland Security, he assisted in consolidating 22 separate agencies into one unified department and managed its daily activities. Prior to this role, Loy served in the Department of Transportation, and became the first administrator for the unit’s newly created Transportation Security Administration (TSA), as chief operating officer.

Loy retired from the U.S. Coast Guard in 2002, having served as its commandant. As head of the 90,000-person organization, he developed the workforce and modernized ships and aircraft. He also was chief of staff and commander of the Atlantic Area, during which time he redesigned the headquarters management structure. He has served tours aboard Coast Guard vessels, including command of a patrol boat in combat during the Vietnam War.

An Altoona, Pa. native, Loy has received numerous military and civilian honors, including the Department of Transportation Distinguished Service Medal; four Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medals; the Defense Superior Service Medal; the Naval Order of the United States’ Distinguished Sea Service Award; and the Navy League prestigious Admiral Arleigh Burke Leadership Award, among others. Loy graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and holds master’s degrees from Wesleyan University and the University of Rhode Island.

Loy serves on the Penn State Harrisburg Homeland Security Advisory Council.

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Last Updated April 30, 2012