Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation
|Director of the
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Seal of the Federal Bureau of Investigation
Flag of the Federal Bureau of Investigation
|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.|
with Senate advice and consent
|Term length||10 years|
|Inaugural holder||Stanley Finch (BOI)
J. Edgar Hoover (FBI)
|Formation||1908 (as Chief of the BOI)|
The Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation is the head of that agency (FBI) and responsible for its day-to-day operations. The FBI Director is appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate.
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. The Director is also supervised by the Attorney General, as the FBI is an agency of the Department of Justice.
Lists of officeholders
Bureau of Investigation chiefs and directors (1908 to 1935)
When the Bureau of Investigation (BOI) was established in 1908, its head was called the Chief of the Bureau of Investigation. 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.
|1||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, A. BruceA. Bruce Bielaski||April 30, 1912 – February 10, 1919||6 years, 286 days||William H. Taft; Woodrow Wilson|
|-||Allen, William E.William E. Allen||February 10, 1919 – June 30, 1919||140 days||Acting Director||Woodrow Wilson|
|3||Flynn, William J.William J. Flynn||July 1, 1919 – August 21, 1921||2 years, 51 days||Woodrow Wilson; Warren Harding|
|4||Burns, William J.William J. Burns||August 22, 1921 – May 10, 1924||2 years, 262 days||Warren Harding; Calvin Coolidge|
|5||Hoover, J. EdgarJ. 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)
The FBI Director is appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. 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. 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.
|1||Hoover, J. EdgarJ. 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|
|—||Gray, L. PatrickL. Patrick Gray||May 3, 1972 – April 27, 1973||359 days||Acting Director of the FBI||Richard Nixon|
|—||Ruckelshaus, WilliamWilliam Ruckelshaus||April 30, 1973 – July 9, 1973||70 days||Acting Director of the FBI||Richard Nixon|
|2||Kelley, Clarence M.Clarence M. Kelley||July 9, 1973 – February 15, 1978||4 years, 221 days||Richard Nixon; Gerald Ford; Jimmy Carter|
|—||Adams, James B.James B. Adams||February 15, 1978 – February 23, 1978||8 days||Associate Director of the FBI; Acting Director||Jimmy Carter|
|3||Webster, William H.William H. Webster||February 23, 1978 – May 25, 1987||9 years, 91 days||Jimmy Carter; Ronald Reagan|
|—||Otto, John E.John E. Otto||May 26, 1987 – November 2, 1987||160 days||Deputy Director of the FBI; Acting Director||Ronald Reagan|
|4||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, Floyd I.Floyd I. Clarke||July 19, 1993 – September 1, 1993||44 days||Deputy Director of the FBI; Acting Director||Bill Clinton|
|5||Freeh, LouisLouis Freeh||September 1, 1993 – June 25, 2001||7 years, 297 days||Bill Clinton ; George W. Bush|
|—||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||Mueller, RobertRobert Mueller||September 4, 2001 – September 4, 2013||12 years, 0 days||George W. Bush; Barack Obama|
|7||Comey, JamesJames Comey||September 4, 2013 – present||3 years, 132 days||Barack Obama|
- - Appointing Presidents in italics. Senate confirmation of nominee was required after 1972.
Line of succession
The line of succession for the Director of the FBI is as follows:
- Deputy Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation
- Associate Deputy Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation
- Executive Assistant Director of the National Security Branch
- Executive Assistant Director for Criminal, Cyber, Response and Services
- Assistant Director of Counterterrorism Division
- Assistant Director of Criminal Investigative Division
- Assistant Director of Counterintelligence Division
- Assistant Director, Washington Field Office
- Assistant Director, New York Field Office
- Assistant Director, Los Angeles Field Office
- Assistant Director, Houston Field Office
- 28 U.S.C. §532 note. Confirmation and Compensation of Director; Term of Service Legal Information Institute
- FBI Director: Appointment and Tenure Congressional Research Service
- FBI Intelligence Reform Since September 11, 2001: Issues and Options for Congress
- "The FBI Director: Background on the Position". Federal Bureau of Investigation. Retrieved 2011-02-07.
- "Senate Extends Term of F.B.I. Director". New York Times. 2011-07-27. Retrieved 2011-09-13.
- "Designation of Officers of the Federal Bureau of Investigation". Federal Register. 2007-02-14. Retrieved 2016-10-30.
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