Mark Gwyn

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Mark Gwyn is a law enforcement officer who is the current Director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), having been reappointed by Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen to a second 6-year term in 2010. He is eighth director in the agency's history and the first African American to serve in this capacity.

Gwyn has spent his entire adult life in the public safety field, including 16 years at the TBI before becoming its director at age 41. A native of McMinnville, Tennessee and a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, he began his career as a patrolman with the McMinnville police department in 1985. Three years later he joined the TBI as a Special Agent. Gwyn spent eight years investigating some of the state’s most high-profile crimes before being promoted to Executive Officer in 1996. In 2001, Gwyn became Assistant Director of TBI in charge of the Forensic Services Division, in which position he supervised the state's three crime labs.

Gwyn has attended the 33rd session of the FBI's National Executive Institute, the John F. Kennedy School of Government from Harvard University, the FBI's Leadership in Counterterrorism program, the Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy, the TBI Criminal Investigation Academy, and the FBI National Academy, and received terrorism training in Israel from the Israeli National Police.

TBI priorities during his tenure as director have included identifying ways to thwart internet crimes including identity theft, child pornography, and sexual predators. In August 2004, after his appointment as TBI Director, Gwyn became an active member of the Governor’s Meth Task Force, which helped craft legislation to combat the illegal production and use of methamphetamine. The state's Fusion Center was constructed within TBI Headquarters under his watch housing Homeland Security among other programs such as AMBER Alert and Tennessee's Sex Offender Registry.

In 2006, Gwyn's opposition helped prevent the enactment of proposed legislation that would have legalized the production of gambling devices in Tennessee.[1]

Gwyn serves on the Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Committee of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the board of the University of Tennessee National Forensic Academy, and local boards of directors for the Salvation Army and Second Harvest Food Bank. In 2006, Middle Tennessee State University recognized Gwyn as the Distinguished African-American Alumni of the year and in 2010 he was the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award for professional achievement.


  1. ^ Legislators push for gambling-software jobs in Tennessee, by Milt Capps, Nashville Post, 4-23-2007