Robert Anderson, Jr., has been named the executive assistant director of the Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch at FBI Headquarters. In this role, he will be responsible for all criminal and cyber investigations worldwide, as well as international operations, critical incident response, and victim assistance. He succeeds Richard A. McFeely, who is retiring from the FBI in April.
“Bob has the leadership qualities I believe are essential. He is smart and dedicated and cares about the agents and professional staff who fulfill the FBI’s mission,” said FBI Director James B. Comey. “He has the depth and breadth of casework that will help lead CCRSB and achieve strategic results that benefit the FBI and the American public.”
Since August 2012, Anderson has been the assistant director of the Counterintelligence Division; he was previously the division’s deputy assistant director for operations.
Anderson joined the FBI in 1995 and reported to the Washington Field Office (WFO), where he worked narcotics and violent crime cases. He then served on the Hostage Rescue Team and completed deployments to more than 20 countries.
Anderson became a supervisor in the Counterintelligence Division in 2001 and responsible for overseeing counterintelligence and espionage investigations. He coordinated several major espionage cases that involved the Department of Energy’s nuclear weapons laboratories. Anderson also managed the program that placed FBI agents in Department of Energy labs.
As a unit chief, he oversaw the management of nuclear proliferation and espionage investigations. He supervised the Phillip Cheng investigation in the San Francisco Division, which led to numerous cases being opened and the arrests of 16 people for dual-use technology transfers.
Anderson returned to WFO in 2004, first as the supervisor of its global foreign counterintelligence squad and later as the supervisor of one of its espionage squads. In 2007, Anderson was promoted to assistant special agent in charge of the Counterespionage Branch at WFO. In this role, he oversaw the indictment and arrest of multiple defendants for espionage and related offenses, including an investigation that resulted in one of the first arrests, prosecutions, and incarcerations of a U.S. citizen committing espionage on behalf of China.
Anderson returned to FBI Headquarters in 2008 to serve as chief of the Counterespionage Section. During the next year, he led the Harold James Nicholson/Nathan Nicholson espionage investigation, which resulted in the re-arrest and prosecution of Nicholson and his son for espionage. Anderson also was detailed for three months in 2009 as the acting special agent in charge of the Albuquerque Division.
He returned to WFO in 2010 as the special agent in charge of its Intelligence Division and led the collection, coordination, and production and dissemination of intelligence information from WFO among multiple operational divisions at FBI Headquarters and the U.S. Intelligence Community.
Before joining the FBI, Anderson served as a Delaware State trooper for nearly nine years. He served in the uniform patrol division, the criminal investigative unit, and the aviation section. Anderson is a pilot and paramedic and in 1990 was named the Delaware State Police Trooper of the Year—the force’s highest honor—for attempting to rescue individuals who were trapped in a burning home in 1989.
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