Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation

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Director of the
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Seal of the Federal Bureau of Investigation
Flag of the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation.svg
Flag of the Federal Bureau of Investigation
James Comey

since September 4, 2013
U.S. Department of Justice
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Reports to Attorney General
Director of National Intelligence
Seat J. Edgar Hoover Building, District of Columbia, U.S.
Appointer The President
with Senate advice and consent
Term length 10 years
Inaugural holder Stanley Finch (BOI)
John Edgar Hoover (FBI)
Formation 1908 (as Chief of the BOI)
Deputy Deputy Director

The Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation is the head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and responsible to the Attorney General for its operations. The FBI Director is appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate.[1][2]

The current Director of the FBI is James Comey, who assumed office on September 4, 2013.


Along with the Deputy Director, the Director ensures cases and operations are handled correctly. The Director also is in charge of staffing the leadership in any one of the FBI field offices with qualified agents. The Director briefed the president on any issues that arose from within the FBI until the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 was enacted in response to the September 11 attacks. Since then, the director reports to the Director of National Intelligence, who in turn reports to the President.[3]

Lists of officeholders[edit]

Bureau of Investigation chiefs and directors (1908 to 1935)[edit]

When the Bureau of Investigation (BOI) was established in 1908, its head was called the Chief of the Bureau of Investigation.[4] It was changed to the Director of the Bureau of Investigation since the term of William J. Flynn (1919–1921), and to its current name when the BOI was renamed FBI in 1935.

# Picture Name Term [4] Length Notes President(s)*
1 Stanley Wellington Finch, head-and-shoulders portrait, facing slightly left.jpg Finch, StanleyStanley Finch July 26, 1908 – April 30, 1912 3 years, 279 days First Chief, then Director of the BOI Theodore Roosevelt; William H. Taft
2 Bielaski.jpg Bielaski, A. BruceA. Bruce Bielaski April 30, 1912 – February 10, 1919 6 years, 286 days William H. Taft; Woodrow Wilson
- William E. Allen.jpg Allen, William E.William E. Allen February 10, 1919 – June 30, 1919 140 days Acting Director Woodrow Wilson
3 William J. Flynn (cropped).jpg Flynn, William J.William J. Flynn July 1, 1919 – August 21, 1921 2 years, 51 days Woodrow Wilson; Warren Harding
4 William J. Burns.jpg Burns, William J.William J. Burns August 22, 1921 – May 10, 1924 2 years, 262 days Warren Harding; Calvin Coolidge
5 HooverJoven.jpg Hoover, John EdgarJohn Edgar Hoover May 10, 1924 – June 30, 1935 11 years, 51 days Director of the BOI Calvin Coolidge; Herbert Hoover; Franklin D. Roosevelt

Federal Bureau of Investigation directors (1935 to present)[edit]

The FBI Director is appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate.[5][6] J. Edgar Hoover, appointed by Calvin Coolidge to the predecessor office of Director of the Bureau of Investigation in 1924, was by far the longest-serving director; he held the position from its establishment under the current title in 1935 until his death in 1972. In response to Hoover's lengthy tenure, Congress imposed a term limit of ten years for future directors, which was waived by the Senate for Robert Mueller on July 27, 2011 due to serious security concerns at that time.[7] In theory, they serve ten-year terms unless they resign, die, or are removed, but in reality, since J. Edgar Hoover, none have served a full ten years, except Robert Mueller, who served twelve years.

Picture Name Term[4] Length Notes President(s)*
1 Hoover-JEdgar-LOC.jpg Hoover, John EdgarJohn Edgar Hoover July 1, 1935 – May 2, 1972 36 years, 306 days Director of the FBI; died from a heart attack at his Washington, D.C., home on May 2, 1972. Franklin D. Roosevelt; Harry Truman; Dwight Eisenhower; John F. Kennedy; Lyndon Johnson; Richard Nixon
Patrickgrey.jpeg Gray, L. PatrickL. Patrick Gray May 3, 1972 – April 27, 1973 359 days Acting Director of the FBI Richard Nixon
William Ruckelshaus.jpg Ruckelshaus, WilliamWilliam Ruckelshaus April 30, 1973 – July 9, 1973 70 days Acting Director of the FBI Richard Nixon
2 Clarence M. Kelley.jpg Kelley, Clarence M.Clarence M. Kelley July 9, 1973 – February 15, 1978 4 years, 221 days Richard Nixon; Gerald Ford; Jimmy Carter
Jbadams.jpg Adams, James B.James B. Adams February 15, 1978 – February 23, 1978 8 days Associate Director of the FBI; Acting Director Jimmy Carter
3 Williamwebster.jpg Webster, William H.William H. Webster February 23, 1978 – May 25, 1987 9 years, 91 days Jimmy Carter; Ronald Reagan
Otto-lg.jpg Otto, John E.John E. Otto May 26, 1987 – November 2, 1987 160 days Deputy Director of the FBI; Acting Director Ronald Reagan
4 William S. Sessions.jpg Sessions, William S.William S. Sessions November 2, 1987 – July 19, 1993 5 years, 259 days Ronald Reagan; George H.W. Bush; Bill Clinton
Clarke-lg.jpg Clarke, Floyd I.Floyd I. Clarke July 19, 1993 – September 1, 1993 44 days Deputy Director of the FBI; Acting Director Bill Clinton
5 Louisfreeh.jpeg Freeh, LouisLouis Freeh September 1, 1993 – June 25, 2001 7 years, 297 days Bill Clinton ; George W. Bush
Pickard-lg.jpg Pickard, Thomas J.Thomas J. Pickard June 25, 2001 – September 4, 2001 71 days Deputy Director of the FBI; Acting Director George W. Bush
6 Robert S. Mueller official portrait.jpg Mueller, RobertRobert Mueller September 4, 2001 – September 4, 2013 12 years, 0 days George W. Bush; Barack Obama
7 Comey-FBI-Portrait.jpg Comey, JamesJames Comey September 4, 2013 – present 2 years, 14 days Barack Obama
  • - Appointing Presidents in italics. Senate confirmation of nominee was required after 1972.


External Links[edit]