Cybersecurity expert to head FBI's D.C. office

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By Carrie Johnson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, January 9, 2010

The FBI has tapped a cybersecurity expert as the new head of its Washington Field Office, one of the largest and most prestigious posts in the crime-fighting bureau, a spokeswoman confirmed Friday.

As assistant director in charge of the field office, Shawn Henry, 47, will be responsible for leading federal investigations of fraud, public corruption and terrorism across Northern Virginia and the District, bureau spokeswoman Katherine Schweit said.

The surroundings will be familiar: Henry began his career as a special agent in the District in 1989, focusing on public corruption. He was also on the SWAT team.

In recent years, Henry attracted international attention for heading up probes of computer intrusion and fraud cases, and he appeared as an FBI representative at security conferences across the United States and Europe. In September 2008, he was named assistant director of the bureau's Cyber Division.

During his tenure there, the FBI set up special cybercrime offices in Estonia, Romania and the Netherlands to help combat the growing problem. The bureau sifted through 2,120 international cybercrime leads in fiscal 2008 alone.

Henry, a graduate of Hofstra University and Virginia Commonwealth University, replaces Joseph Persichini Jr., who retired in December. Persichini had been the focus of an internal investigation into allegations that he might have cheated on an FBI training exam, two sources said late last year.


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