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Archive for September 14th, 2021

Homeland Security’s Chief of Staff Karen Olick Resigns to ‘Pursue New Opportunities’

Homeland Security Director Alejandro Mayorkas.

By Steve Neavling

Karen Olick, chief of staff to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, announced on Monday that she’s resigning at the end of the month, citing an undisclosed opportunity. 

She will be replaced on an interim basis by Jennifer Higgins, associate director of Refugee, Asylum and International Operations at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, DHS officials told Politico.

In an email, Olick said, “Though too often underappreciated by our fellow citizens, I am continually struck by how many millions of Americans sleep in safety every night because so many at DHS do not sleep.” 

In a separate email, Mayorkas notified staff that Olick “has decided to resign her position and pursue new opportunities. We are grateful to Karen for her service during the critical first nine months of the new Administration.”

Olick most recently worked for SKDK, the Democratic-centric political communications firm. 

Her departure comes as Homeland Security grapples with a high number of migrant apprehensions at the U.S.-Mexico border. 

J. William Rivers Named Special Agent in Charge of FBI’s Cincinnati Field Office

Special Agent in Charge J. William Rivers

By Steve Neavling

J. William Rivers has been named special agent in charge of the FBI’s Cincinnati Field Office. 

Rivers, who most recently served as a section chief and director of the Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center in Huntsville, Ala., began his career with the FBI in 2002, when he was assigned to the Washington Field Office to investigate counterintelligence matters. 

While at the Washington Field Office in 2006, he was certified as a technically trained agent and worked on the Technical Operations Squad to support investigative programs. For the SWAT team, he served as the technical coordinator and was a certified sniper.

In 2013, Rivers became supervisory special agent. 

Rivers was promoted to unit chief of the TTA Operations and Development Unit in the Operational Technology Division at headquarters in 2015 and “was responsible for the success of the FBI’s technical investigative personnel,” the bureau said. 

In 2018, Rivers was appointed assistant special agent in charge of the Norfolk Field Office in Virginia, where he led all criminal, cyber, and administrative programs. In 2020, he became section chief and director of the Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center, a multi-agency center that coordinates bomb-related evidence and intelligence collection for the U.S. government.

Rivers received a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Kentucky. Before joining the FBI, he worked as a project manager and engineer for a private general construction company in Kentucky.