Kathleen L. McChesney,
the FBI's Executive Assistant Director for Law Enforcement
Services, has been recognized by the National Center
for Women and Policing with a Lifetime Achievement Award
for her contributions to the law enforcement profession
throughout her 30-year career.
The annual award, presented
last night at the Women in Military Service for America
Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery, recognizes
"a woman in law enforcement or the criminal justice
profession who, over the course of her career, has continually
demonstrated a commitment to improving the quality of
law enforcement and advancing women's leadership and
participation" through various means.
Ms. McChesney, the highest
ranking woman in the FBI, is a veteran Special Agent
who has risen through ranks as an investigator, supervisor
and manager after entering on duty in 1978. Before being
appointed by Director Robert S. Mueller, III, to her
current position, she served as the Assistant Director
of the Training Division, as Special Agent in Charge
of the Portland, Oregon, and Chicago field offices.
As head of law enforcement services, Ms. McChesney is
responsible for the FBI's Training, Laboratory, and
Criminal Justice Information Services Divisions, as
well as the Office of International Operations and the
Critical Incident Response Group. Director Mueller created
the position as part of a major reorganization underway
at the FBI to better address the new challenges of terrorism
and modernize and streamline the FBI's more traditional
functions. Ms. McChesney, a former police officer, has
been tasked with improving FBI coordination and information
sharing with state and local law enforcement. Ms. McChesney
holds both a Masters degree and a Ph. D. in Public Administration.
Ms. McChesney's award
coincides with the 30th anniversary of a significant
milestone in the FBI. In the spring of 1972, the FBI
began accepting applications from women for the Special
Agent position, and by July of that year had appointed
the first two women as Special Agents in modern times.
The Bureau had not had a woman serving as a Special
Agent since the late 1920's.
From those first two female
Special Agents, the number has grown to 2,000, or 18
percent of the Special Agent workforce of 11,200 with
over 100 women in top management positions around the
country to include but not limited to four Special Agent
in Charge, 14 Assistant Special Agent in Charge, two
Assistant Directors and two Deputy Assistant Directors
and over 80 Unit Chiefs here at FBI Headquarters. Currently,
there is a large-scale Special Agent recruiting effort
underway, a part of which is designed to increase the
number of women Agents.