USA Today on November 9, 2012 released the following:
“Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY
Beyond the reshuffling of President Obama’s Cabinet, another key personnel decision is looming in the administration’s second term.
In the coming months, Obama will decide a successor to Robert Mueller, the longest-serving FBI director since J. Edgar Hoover.
Mueller, the only top national security official remaining in government since the 9/11 attacks, is set to leave office in 2013, after Congress took the unprecedented action of extending his 10-year term. Obama requested the extension last year to preserve some continuity in the national security structure, at a time when he was naming new executives to lead the Pentagon and CIA.
But Congress is not likely to provide another extension for one of the most fraught jobs in government.
“This is an unusual step by the president, and is somewhat of a risky precedent to set,” Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, the Judiciary Committee’s ranking Republican said in May 2011 at the time of the request, adding that he would seek to “ensure that this is not a more permanent extension.”
Until Mueller was granted an additional two years, which Grassley also ultimately voted for, the administration’s search team had considered a list candidates — many drawn from Democratic and Republican administrations.
Federal law enforcement analysts, including Tom Fuentes, a former FBI assistant director, said the names represent a vast array of experience for an agency whose reach continues to extend throughout the globe.
Fuentes, who once directed the bureau’s international operations, said terrorism, organized crime and the growing threats to cybersecurity have required the agency to expand its international presence.
“On any given day, you have more than 1,000 agents (of the bureau’s 14,000 agents) working outside the country,” Fuentes said.
“Any new director has got to have some understanding of the international nature of crime and the value of intelligence,” he said.
While endorsing Michael Mason, former chief of the FBI’s D.C. field office for the post last year, the FBI Agents Association referred to a similar need for leadership that spans the agency’s many areas of jurisdiction, “from Bloods street gangs to mortgage fraud to Russian sleeper cells.”
Don Borelli, a former assistant agent-in-charge of the FBI’s New York division, said the most critical need is “organization.”
“The biggest challenges facing the next director are organizational,” he said. “It’s how you direct a large organization, provide it the resources it needs to function. Obviously, you need someone who knows the nuances of politics and could be confirmed (by Congress).”
“No matter who gets the job, though there is going to skepticism, because agents by nature are skeptical,” Borelli said. “But what you need is someone who can take over like a CEO of a big corporation.””
Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
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