James Smith named special agent in charge of FBI Houston Field Office

James Smith, FBI Houston (KPRC)

HOUSTON – Director Christopher Wray has named James Smith as the special agent in charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigations Houston Field Office . Smith most recently served as a chief of staff to the associate deputy director at FBI headquarters in Washington.

Smith joined the FBI as a special agent in 2004 and was assigned to the Los Angeles Field Office, where he investigated drug-trafficking organizations, money laundering, and violent gangs. He also served on the SWAT team and deployed to Baghdad in 2008 to support the FBI’s counterterrorism mission.

In 2010, Smith was promoted to supervisory special agent and transferred to the MS-13 National Gang Task Force Unit in the Criminal Investigative Division at Headquarters. In 2012, he transferred to the International Violent Crimes Unit to manage international hostage-takings, major crimes, and fugitive matters.

Smith returned to the Los Angeles Field Office in 2013 as the supervisor of the Violent Crimes Against Children Squad. In 2014, he was appointed supervisor of the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Squad and oversaw Mexican criminal enterprise investigations, the Compton Safe Streets Task Force, and other violent crime task forces.

He was promoted in 2016 to assistant special agent in charge of the San Antonio Field Office, where he oversaw the national security, intelligence, cyber, language services, surveillance, and aviation programs. In 2020, Smith served as an inspector in the Inspection Division at Headquarters.

Later in 2020, Smith was named the chief of staff to the associate deputy director at headquarters. In that position, he served as the chief of staff, senior proxy, and counsel to the ADD, who oversees the FBI’s budget, human resources, infrastructure, compliance, security and several other programs and divisions.

Before he joined the FBI, Smith was an aircraft engine maintenance manager and a powerplant engineer for two airlines. He earned a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.