FBI names veteran officer to oversee intelligence divisions

By Spencer S. Hsu
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, April 21, 2010; 8:27 PM

The FBI has named a 23-year veteran of the bureau to become its lead intelligence official, Director Robert Mueller announced Wednesday evening.

Sean Joyce will become the new executive assistant director of its National Security Branch, Mueller said in a statement. Joyce, who was most recently assistant director of the FBI's International Operations Division, will oversee divisions dealing with counterterrorism, intelligence and weapons of mass destruction.

Joyce replaces Arthur M. Cummings II, who is retiring this month, a bureau spokesman said.

Mueller said Joyce headed 600 employees in 75 U.S. and overseas offices in his most recent posting, which he took over last October. Before working with FBI's international partners, Joyce was international section chief of the FBI's counterterrorism division, assistant special-agent-in-charge of the Washington Field Office, legal attache to Prague and assigned to several hostage rescue, SWAT, and investigative units in Dallas, Fort Worth and Miami.

In 2005, Joyce received the Attorney General's Award for Exceptional Service for his terrorism work, Mueller said.

"Sean brings a wide range of operational and leadership experience to this position, which he has demonstrated during more than 20 years of service to the FBI," the director said.

Cummings's deputy, Philip Mudd, a highly regarded CIA counterterrorism official who moved to the FBI in 2005, has left the bureau in recent weeks, spokesman Paul Bresson confirmed.

In June, Mudd withdrew from consideration to become intelligence chief for the Homeland Security Department, a decision that came amid Senate pressure over his view of CIA interrogation policies. Mudd's supporters pointed to the episode as revealing how politicization of intelligence issues was undermining career intelligence professionals. The Washington Independent first reported on Mudd's departure.

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