Becoming the Director of the FBI

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File:James B. Comey september 2013.jpg

June 2013: James B. Comey speaks after being nominated by President Obama to be the new FBI Director.

On Monday October 28th, James B. Comey was officially recognized as the FBI’s new director. Comey assumed the position in September succeeding Robert Mueller, who had been the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s director for 12 years.

Comey was selected for the role by President Barack Obama. The White House Press Secretary Office published Obama’s remarks made at Monday’s ceremony. An excerpt reads:

“Now, Jim has dedicated his life to defending our laws — to making sure that all Americans can trust our justice system to protect their rights and their well-being.  He’s the grandson of a beat cop.  He’s the prosecutor who helped bring down the Gambinos.  He’s the relentless attorney who fought to stem the bloody tide of gun violence, rub out white-collar crime, deliver justice to terrorists.  It’s just about impossible to find a matter of justice he has not tackled, and it’s hard to imagine somebody who is not more uniquely qualified to lead a bureau that covers all of it…” [Source: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/10/28/remarks-president-and-fbi-director-james-comey] 

Comey’s Training and Experience

  • Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Honors, Majors in Chemistry and Religion (College of William & Mary, 1982)
  • Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree (University of Chicago Law School, 1985)
  • Law Clerk for John M. Walker Jr. (who at the time was a United States District Judge)
  • Associate at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher
  • Junior attorney at U.S. Attorney’s Office (Southern District of New York), moving up to Chief of the Criminal Division
  • Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia
  • U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York
  • Department of Justice (DOJ) Deputy Attorney General
  • Senior Vice President & General Counsel at Lockheed Martin
  • General Counsel at Bridgewater Associates
  • Columbia Law School Lecturer/Senior Research Scholar/Hertog Fellow in national security law

Character a Key Factor

According to the White House Press Office, Obama also said in regards to Comey, “But what gave me confidence that this was the right man for the job wasn’t his degrees and it wasn’t his resume; it was in talking to him and seeing his amazing family, a sense that this [is] somebody who knows what’s right and what’s wrong, and is willing to act on that basis every single day.”

The Associated Press’ Pete Yost cited an example of Comey’s moral character: The new director is planning on getting all FBI recruits to visit the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial to be reminded of the agency’s past wrongs (such as treating King as a security threat). Comey said the “FBI must never abuse its power,” reported Yost (October 28, 2013).

Inspired? If you have ambition, moral conviction and a steadfast work ethic, perhaps you too can assume such an important position in the future!

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