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Paul Abbate Takes Over #2 Spot at FBI


By Allan Lengel

Paul M. Abbate has been named deputy director of the FBI — the #2 spot in the agency, just under Director Christopher Wray.

Paul Abbate

As deputy director, Abbate will oversees all FBI domestic and international investigative and intelligence activities. He was promoted from the job of associate deputy director at headquarters.

Abbate joined the FBI in 1996 and was first assigned to the Criminal Division in the New York Field Office. He was also a member of the SWAT team.

In 2003, he was promoted to supervisory special agent and transferred to the Iraq Unit of the Counterterrorism Division at FBI Headquarters.  He was deployed to Iraq in 2005 and served as the senior FBI liaison officer to the Department of Defense.

In 2006, he moved to the Newark Field Office, where he served on the Joint Terrorism Task Force. In 2008, he deployed to Afghanistan as the FBI’s deputy on-scene commander where he led FBI counterterrorism operations. 

He returned to the Counterterrorism Division in 2009 as an assistant section chief, providing oversight of U.S.-based international terrorism investigations. The next year, he moved to the Los Angeles Field Office as the assistant special agent in charge of counterterrorism matters.

After several more moves, in 2013, he took over the Detroit FBI Office. A couple years later, he was promoted to head up the Washington Field Office. Near the end of 2016, he was appointed as the executive assistant director for the Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch at FBI Headquarters.

Two years later, he was named the FBI associate deputy director.

He replaces David Bowdich. 


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