Gary M. Bald

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Gary M. Bald became the first Director of the National Security Service on August 12, 2005. Bald was then serving as Executive Assistant Director (EAD) for Counterterrorism and Counterintelligence at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, a position he had held since October 2004. [1]

Bald and Deputy Director Philip Mudd "will oversee the FBI’s counterterrorism, counterintelligence, and intelligence programs, which are being consolidated under the new NSB. They will be responsible for the FBI’s national security mission, including the continued development of a specialized national security workforce. Mr. Bald will be the lead FBI official responsible for integrating the FBI’s national security mission with the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) and the Intelligence Community." [2]

The day before his appointment, Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) "sharply criticized" Bald's "lack of experience and knowledge about the Mideast and terrorism," the Associated Press reported. Grassley wrote national intelligence director John D. Negroponte "to say the new security service head should have considerable experience combating terrorism. 'This is not a position for on-the-job training,' Grassley wrote."

In "sworn testimony that contrasts with their promises to the public, the FBI managers who crafted the post-Sept. 11 fight against terrorism say expertise about the Mideast or terrorism was not important in choosing the agents they promoted to top jobs," the Associated Press reported June 19, 2005.
Bald "said his first terrorism training came 'on the job' when he moved to headquarters to oversee anti-terrorism strategy two years ago. ... Asked about his grasp of Middle Eastern culture and history, Bald responded: 'I wish that I had it. It would be nice.'"


On October 29, 2004, FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III announced the appointment of Gary M. Bald as Executive Assistant Director (EAD) for Counterterrorism and Counterintelligence. At the time of his appointment, Bald was serving as Assistant Director of the Counterterrorism Division and had previously served as the Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Baltimore field office. [3]

According to his FBI profile, Gary M. Bald "brings a wide range of operational and management experience to the EAD position. He began his career with the FBI in October 1977 in the Laboratory Division. In 1981, he was transferred to the Albany Division where he handled violent crime and drug matters. In 1984 he received a transfer to the Philadelphia Division, where he investigated corruption and drug matters. In 1989, he was transferred to the Office of Professional Responsibility at FBI Headquarters where he was responsible for conducting and directing investigations of internal misconduct. In 1991, he was transferred to the Newark Division, where he had supervisory responsibility for organized crime and drug matters.

"In 1995, Mr. Bald was transferred to the Inspection Division at Headquarters where he was responsible for evaluating the operational and administrative effectiveness of FBI field, Headquarters, and Legal Attaché operations. In 1996, he was selected to be the Chief of the Policy, Planning and Analysis Unit, Criminal Investigative Division, where he managed the FBI's role in Drug Task Forces and coordinated the FBI's review and development of investigative policies.

"In late 1996, Mr. Bald was selected to be an Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Atlanta Division. In this capacity he was responsible for overseeing the FBI's organized crime and drug investigations throughout the state of Georgia, and all FBI investigative matters conducted in the northern region of Georgia.

"In January 1999, Mr. Bald was detailed to the Criminal Division at Headquarters, and later to the Inspection Division, where he led the investigation of a high-profile Organized Crime/Corruption matter in the Boston Division relating to the James 'Whitey' Bulgar case. In September 2002, Mr. Bald was named Special Agent in Charge of the Baltimore Division, where he had responsibility for all FBI activities in the states of Maryland and Delaware. In that assignment he oversaw the FBI’s efforts in the Washington-area sniper investigation in the fall of 2002.

"In November 2003, Mr. Bald was selected by Director Mueller to be the Deputy Assistant Director for Counterterrorism Operations, Counterterrorism Division, a position with national program management responsibility for all international and domestic terrorism investigations, including those involving weapons of mass destruction. He was named Acting Assistant Director of the Counterterrorism Division in December 2003 and formally assumed the position of Assistant Director in March 2004."

External links

  • "Bald Touts Patriot Act at NIST Conference," Public Sector Institute, September 29, 2003: "Bald said he believes the biggest Patriot Act-related aid to the US counter-terror mission comes with the creation of more formal lines of info sharing,..."
  • Testimony of Gary Bald, Assistant Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, May 5, 2004.
  • "FBI's counterterror chief to run new National Security Service," Associated Press (San Diego Union-Tribune), August 12, 2005.
  • "Al-Qaeda is going to launch a series of attacks ....," Pravda, August 17, 2005: "Gary Bald, a director of the National Security Service, has been with the FBI for 28 years. In 2002 he successfully led a manhunt for the notorious Washington Sniper. He was appointed head of the FBI counterterrorist unit. ... Some U.S. politicians were prompt to accuse Mr. Bald of being unfit for the job shortly after his new post had been announced. They claimed Mr. Bald did not have enough experience and knowledge with respect to terrorism, social and cultural aspects of the Middle East problems. The White House appears to have found a way of filling the gap in Mr. Bald knowledge of the above subjects. Philip Mudd, a well-known expert on the Middle East and former deputy director of the CIA counterterrorist center, was appointed deputy director of the National Security Service."