Press Release

For Immediate Release
August 6, 2002

Washington D.C.
FBI National Press Office
(202) 324-3691

John E. Collingwood, the longtime head of congressional and public affairs for the FBI, will retire after nearly 27 years as Special Agent to take a position in the private sector.
FBI Director Robert S. Mueller said: "I will miss John greatly. He has played a critical role in every major issue that the FBI has faced over the past decade and longer. His efforts and dedication, driven by the highest professional and personal standards -- and a work ethic second to none -- have made the FBI a better organization during the time he has been here, and helped position us well for the future. Every FBI employee should be grateful for John and what he has contributed to this organization."

Mr. Collingwood, 54, worked under four directors during 22 years at FBI Headquarters. Beginning in the then-Legal Counsel Division in legal research, he later headed the civil litigation program. In 1987, he became a special assistant to the Director where he worked on a wide variety of issues, including the class action litigation involving FBI hiring and promotion policies. He was appointed Inspector in Charge of the Congressional Affairs Office and later assumed responsibility for the combined Office of Public and Congressional Affairs. In 1997, he was designated Assistant Director in charge of the new public and congressional division, which now included the Freedom of Information and Privacy Acts program.

Prior to coming to FBI Headquarters, Mr. Collingwood was assigned to the Detroit and Portland, Ore., field offices as an investigator.

As chief spokesman and head of the congressional liaison program, Mr. Collingwood led the effort to keep Congress informed on the full range of FBI issues and initiatives, including, over the years: expansion of the FBI overseas; class action personnel lawsuits that changed the face of the FBI; rebuilding the FBI's information infrastructure; the need to ensure continued, lawful access to criminal and terrorism communications in major cases; and, most recently, the reorganization and re-engineering of the FBI in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks. He also helped shape with Congressional committees critical legislation for law enforcement in the areas of terrorism, information technologies, intellectual property, pay reform and health care enforcement.

"John has been invaluable to me over the past year as we've tackled a number of critically important initiatives, most importantly reorganization and re-engineering. He has given me wise counsel during one of the most important periods in the FBI's history. He has been a valued friend. It's a tremendous understatement to say that he will be sorely missed," Mueller said.


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