New FBI Laboratory Director Appointed
In June 2008, FBI Director Robert Mueller, III, appointed Dr. David
Christian (Chris) Hassell as the new Laboratory Director. Dr. Hassell
came to the FBI from the Oklahoma State University Multispectral
Laboratories (UML), a multiagency facility and laboratory bringing
together industry, government, and academia to focus on testing,
evaluating, and implementing defense, homeland security, energy,
and intelligence systems. At UML, Dr. Hassell led research, development,
testing, and evaluation initiatives.
Dr. Hassell’s previous experience includes both private industry
and public laboratories. He served as assistant vice president for
science and technology at Applied Marine Technologies Inc., a government
contracting firm and subsidiary of Science Applications International
Corp. Prior to that, he worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory
(LANL), where he led programs in analytical chemistry, instrument
development, and forensics and attribution for weapons of mass destruction.
Many of these programs included mentoring undergraduates, graduate
students, and postdoctoral research associates. One of his major
accomplishments at LANL involved serving as a subject-matter expert
for chemical and biological warfare on the Iraq Survey Group. Dr.
Hassell and his colleagues provided on-the-ground technical expertise
on weapons of mass destruction by conducting on-site inspections,
interviewing scientists and engineers, and exploiting documents
Earlier in his career, Dr. Hassell served as a senior research
chemist for DuPont, developing online analytical instrumentation
for chemical and bioprocess facilities to use in research and manufacturing.
Dr. Hassell earned his Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from the University
of Texas and his bachelor of science degree in chemistry from Brigham
Young University. He is a prolific researcher and author and has
published numerous scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals
and books. As a leader both on the job and off, Dr. Hassell has
held numerous leadership positions in professional organizations
and facilitated programs at technical symposia.
Dr. Hassell’s first week at the Laboratory coincided with
the FBI’s celebration of its 100th anniversary. He kicked
off the Laboratory’s family day event to mark this celebration
with the following words:
It is an honor to welcome you to the FBI Laboratory today
during this 100th anniversary celebration. This is one of my first
official acts as the new Assistant Director for the Laboratory
Division, and welcoming you to such an event holds special meaning
for me. I toured the Lab as a child 40 years ago—I was in
awe of it then, and I still marvel at all that these great people
do. I wish you a day of wonder and pride as we celebrate this
Dr. Hassell replaces Dr. Joseph A. DiZinno, who retired in February
and previously served as the Editor of Forensic Science Communications.
The Editors welcome Dr. Hassell as he leads the FBI Laboratory to
Dr. D. Christian Hassell