FBI Director Robert S.
Mueller, III, today announced that Executive Assistant
Director Dale L. Watson will retire from the FBI next
month to accept a position in the private sector and
Executive Assistant Director Bruce J. Gebhardt is being
elevated to Deputy Director to oversee all investigative
and operational matters. The elevation of Mr. Gebhardt
is part of a series of initiatives to streamline operations,
revitalize the information infrastructure, and refocus
the priorities and investigative approaches of the FBI.
Mr. Watson is a 24-year veteran Special Agent who has
served continually in counter-terrorism and counter-intelligence
roles since 1982. In his current position, he has overseen
the investigation of both the September 11 terrorist
attacks and the deadly anthrax mailings as well as the
refocusing and re-engineering of the FBI's counter-terrorism
Mr. Watson was the first Assistant Director for Counter-terrorism
Division when it was created in 1999, with responsibility
for overall direction and management of the international
and domestic terrorism programs, and the National Infrastructure
Protection Center. Prior to that he headed the counter-terrorism
branch of the National Security Division and earlier,
the International Terrorism Section as well as serving
as the FBI's first representative to the CIA's Counter-terrorism
Center. In 1995, as second in charge of the Kansas City
field division, he played a key role in the investigation
into the Oklahoma City bombing. Later he oversaw major
international terrorism investigations such as the 1998
bombings of the U.S. Embassies in East Africa and the
attack on the U.S.S. Cole in Yemen, and he was instrumental
in the successful investigation into the tragic bombing
of Khobar Towers.
"Dale Watson has served the FBI and the American
public with distinction for more than 24 years,"
Director Mueller said. "He committed much of his
career to counter-terrorism and counterintelligence,
and early on recognized the necessity of closer cooperation
with the CIA and information sharing. Dale is highly
respected throughout the intelligence community and
among law enforcement agencies across this country,
and with our partners around the world with whom he
has worked closely to strengthen our working relationships,"
"Dale has been a visionary, leading change in the
FBI at a critical moment in our history. He will be
greatly missed and we wish him continuing success,"
Director Mueller has appointed Bruce J. Gebhardt as
Deputy Director of the FBI, the second highest ranking
position in the FBI. As Deputy Director, Mr. Gebhardt
is the principal assistant to the Director and assumes
overall responsibility for the FBI in the Director's
absence. As Deputy Director, he will directly oversee
all FBI investigative, counter-intelligence and prevention
"Bruce has 28 years of experience and a track record
of success as an investigator, supervisor, program manager
and executive, which makes him ideally suited to oversee
day-to-day operations," Mueller said.. "He
has worked closely with me on our reorganization and
re-engineering efforts as we move forward to better
prepare the FBI for the counter-terrorism, counter-intelligence
and crime challenges we face."
Mr. Gebhardt currently serves as the Executive Assistant
Director for Criminal Investigations, with oversight
for all criminal and cyber investigations. During his
career, he has worked general criminal and organized
crime matters in Denver and San Francisco, supervised
drug cases in Los Angeles and at FBI Headquarters, and
served two tours in the Inspection Division, the FBI's
internal strategic planning and oversight organization.
He was second in command of the Newark field division
and Special Agent in Charge in Phoenix and San Francisco.
In these latter capacities, he had substantial white
collar crime, counter-intelligence and counter-terrorism
Mueller stated, "The FBI's re-engineering, streamlining
and information infrastructure revitalization efforts
are being directed by experts we recruited from the
private sector, people like Wilson Lowery and Darwin
John. While Bruce is involved in these efforts, I have
asked him to apply his considerable operational experience
towards our counter-intelligence, prevention and cyber
initiatives. He is a major asset in that regard, with
28 years of investigative experience, having successfully
managed large FBI field offices."