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James Smith Named Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Field Office — FBI

Human RightsJames Smith Named Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Field Office — FBI

Director Christopher Wray has named James Smith as the assistant director in charge of the New York Field Office. Mr. Smith most recently served as the special agent in charge of the Houston Field Office.

Mr. Smith joined the FBI as a special agent in 2004. He first worked in the Los Angeles Field Office investigating drug-trafficking organizations, money laundering, and violent gangs. In addition, he served on the SWAT team and deployed to Baghdad in 2008 to support the FBI’s counterterrorism mission.

In 2010, Mr. Smith was promoted to supervisory special agent and transferred to the Criminal Investigative Division at FBI Headquarters to work in the MS-13 National Gang Task Force Unit. He shifted to the International Violent Crimes Unit in 2012 to manage international hostage-takings, major crimes, and fugitive matters.

Mr. Smith returned to the Los Angeles Field Office in 2013 as the supervisor of the Violent Crimes Against Children Squad. He became supervisor of the office’s High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Squad in 2014, and oversaw Mexican criminal enterprise investigations, the Compton Safe Streets Task Force, and other violent crime task forces.

In 2016, Mr. Smith was promoted to assistant special agent in charge of the San Antonio Field Office, where he led the national security, intelligence, cyber, language services, surveillance, and aviation programs. While in San Antonio, Smith was a key member of the command staff that investigated the 2018 Austin package bombings. More than 600 FBI employees responded to these incidents.

Mr. Smith moved back to FBI Headquarters in 2020 as an inspector in the Inspection Division. Later in the year, he was selected to serve as the chief of staff to the associate deputy director, who oversees the FBI’s budget, human resources, infrastructure, compliance, security, and several other programs and divisions. As chief of staff, Mr. Smith served as the ADD’s senior counsel and proxy.

Director Wray appointed Mr. Smith to serve as the special agent in charge of the Houston Field Office in 2022. During his tenure in Houston, he prioritized violent crime investigations by advocating for a surge of federal resources to the Space City. Moreover, Mr. Smith fortified relationships with local and federal partners by overhauling FBI resources to proactively target repeat violent criminals and hold them accountable at the federal level.

Before he joined the FBI, Mr. Smith was an aircraft engine maintenance manager and a powerplant engineer for two airlines. He earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.

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