- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 30, 2002

The FBI has begun what bureau officials say is the "most aggressive hiring campaign in recent years," looking for a few good men and women as new agents 900 of them, in fact.
The heightened hiring drive comes as the FBI is in the midst of a major reorganization at its Washington headquarters, shifting key agents to field offices throughout the country to strengthen the bureau's ability to combat terrorism.
FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III has said the reorganization is the starting point for a massive overhaul of the bureau's priorities and missions, a "phased process of reorganizing assets, modernizing and integrating new technology, and consolidating functions."
The hiring campaign, aiming for a Sept. 30 cutoff date, has targeted candidates who possess skills deemed essential in addressing the bureau's increasingly complex responsibilities.
Those skills include computer science and information technology specialities; engineering experts; physics, chemistry and biology graduates; and those with a foreign language proficiency, including Arabic, Farsi, Pashtu, Urdu, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish and Vietnamese.
The search list includes men and women with law enforcement or other investigative experience; persons who have worked in the field of counterterrorism; those with foreign counterintelligence experience; persons with military intelligence backgrounds; and fixed-wing pilots.
Major elements of the first phase of the FBI reorganization include the creation of four new executive assistant director positions to oversee key FBI functions. The new executive assistant directors are Ruben Garcia Jr., for criminal investigations; Dale L. Watson, for counterterrorism/counterintelligence; Kathleen McChesney, for law enforcement services; and Robert J. Chiaradio, for administration.
Mr. Mueller said FBI divisions and offices will be realigned under the new executive assistant directors, and that the reorganization "effectively narrows the supervisory span of control and will greatly increase efficiency, accountability and oversight."
Two new divisions have also been created to strengthen emphasis on computer-facilitated crimes and security: the cyber-crime division, to address intellectual property investigations, as well as high-tech and computer crimes; and the security division, responsible for ensuring the integrity of FBI employees, contractors, visitors, information systems and facilities.
Four new offices will focus on improving FBI dealings with state and local law enforcement; implementing critical information-technology projects; modernizing FBI records; and enhancing analytical and intelligence capabilities. Mr. Mueller also said the FBI's investigative services division will be disbanded and its responsibilities and assets integrated into current or newly created components.
Although FBI officials said that persons with specific talents and experience are being sought, the bureau continues to be a diverse agency with employees possessing various experiences. Candidates with experience in accounting, law, business, education and health care also have been encouraged to apply.
FBI officials said applicants must be U.S. citizens between 23 and 36; have a four-year college degree plus three years of professional work experience; hold a valid driver's license; and be available for assignment anywhere within the FBI's jurisdiction.
Applicants must also be able to pass a background investigation, which includes a drug urinalysis and polygraph test. The recruitment of minorities and women continues to be another high priority during this recruitment initiative.
Agents receive a starting salary of $43,705 while in the 16-week training program at the FBI Academy at Quantico, Va. On graduation, the salary ranges from $53,743 to $58,335, depending on the agent's assignment.

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