Deputy Director Thomas J. Pickard Announces his Retirement
Deputy Director Thomas J.
Pickard, second in command at the FBI, will retire at
the end of November after almost 27 years of service as
a Special Agent. Pickard, who has been overseeing the
parallel investigations into the "Pentbom" terrorist
attacks of September 11 and the series of deadly East
Coast anthrax mailings, will return to New York where
he began his career as a Special Agent in 1975.
FBI Director Robert S. Mueller
III heralded Pickard as a "dedicated investigator
and innovative manager" who left his mark on the
"Tom Pickard brought
to the FBI the personal and professional qualities that
we hold highest. His career testifies to his uncompromising
integrity and absolute dedication to the FBI, law enforcement
and the American people. Tom has distinguished himself
as an investigator, supervisor and executive involved
in some of the toughest cases and most innovative programs
ever undertaken by the FBI--and most recently one of the
greatest challenges ever confronted by the FBI and our
nation. He will be sorely missed here at the FBI and throughout
the law enforcement community across the country and the
world," Mueller said.
Attorney General John Ashcroft
said: "Tom Pickard has served his country with honor
and distinction during his many years of service to the
FBI. In supervising such investigations as the terrorist
attacks on September 11, 2001 and the 1993 World Trade
Center bombing, Tom has been a long-serving soldier in
the ongoing war against terrorism.
"His commitment to
law enforcement is a standard we should all strive to
meet as we carry out our obligation to uphold justice,
protect our citizens and promote peace. He will be missed
by the Department of Justice, the FBI and law enforcement
officials around the country," Ashcroft said.
Popular among both managers
and the rank and file, Pickard is known for his open-door
policy with FBI employees. As Deputy Director, he encouraged
employees to communicate directly with him on issues important
Pickard, 50, spent his FBI
career in New York and Washington, D.C. As a new Agent
in New York he worked such cases as the kidnaping of an
heir to the Seagram's fortune. Later, he was transferred
to Washington and assigned to the House Committee on Appropriations
Surveys and Investigations staff.
In April 1979, Pickard was
transferred to the Washington, D.C., Field Office where
he worked in an undercover capacity on the case code named
"ABSCAM." In July, 1980, he was promoted to
FBI Headquarters, serving in the Inspection and Criminal
In October, 1984, Pickard
reported to the New York Field Office as a supervisor
in the White Collar Crime Section. In 1987, he was appointed
Assistant Special Agent in Charge for all White Collar
Crime investigations in the New York Field Office, and
in 1989 for all Violent Crime matters.
Later in 1989, Pickard was
selected for the FBI's Senior Executive Service and was
transferred to FBI Headquarters, where he oversaw the
FBI's finance operations and, subsequently, its personnel
operations. In 1993, Pickard was promoted to the New York
Field Office to serve as the Special Agent in Charge of
its National Security Division, supervising the trials
of the World Trade Center bombing defendants, the trial
of Sheik Omar Ahmed Ali Abdel Rahman and his co-conspirators,
the conviction of Ramzi Youssef and his associates for
plotting to blow up the U. S. airliners, and the day-to-day
investigation into the explosion of TWA 800.
On September 10, 1996, FBI
Director Louis Freeh named Pickard to the position of
Assistant Director in Charge of the Washington Field Office.
In that capacity, Pickard oversaw such matters as the
investigation of the Earl Pitts espionage case, the overseas
capture of convicted CIA killer Mir Aimal Kasi, and the
Al Hayat letter bomb case.
On February 2, 1998, Pickard
assumed the position of Assistant Director of the FBI's
Criminal Investigative Division at FBI Headquarters where
he oversaw such investigations as the capture of Top Ten
Fugitives Rafael Resendez-Ramirez and Martin Frankel,
the Operation Sudden Stop cargo/vehicle theft initiative,
and the initial investigation of the East Africa Embassy
In November 1999, he was
appointed by Freeh as Deputy Director.
"Tom brought to the
senior ranks of the FBI visionary management and a level
of fiscal control that will serve us well during this
period of transition," Director Mueller said. "It
is a legacy of which he should be proud."
Pickard was born in Woodside,
Queens, New York where he also received his early education.
He graduated from St. Francis College, Brooklyn, New York,
in 1972 with a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree
in Accounting. Mr. Pickard received his Masters of Business
Administration Degree in Taxation from St. John's University,
Jamaica, New York, in 1974. He is a Certified Public Accountant,
licensed by the state of New York.