Press Release

For Immediate Release
May 1, 2002

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

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.


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