Alum Becomes New FBI chief taking over Northern California office

Article Last Updated:11/09/2006 02:48:45 AM PST


Northern California got its new top FBI agent Wednesday with the arrival of Special Agent in Charge Charlene Buck Thornton.

Thornton, a 27-year bureau veteran, succeeds Joseph Ford, who recently was promoted to Associate Deputy Director. As the San Francisco Division’s SAC, Thornton will oversee the bureau’s operations throughout California‘s Northern District: the state’s coastal counties from the Oregon border down through Monterey.

For the past two years, Thornton has been Assistant Director of the FBI’s Inspection Division in Washington, D.C., responsible for overseeing internal investigations of employee misconduct and evaluating FBI programs to ensure their efficiency.

Earlier, she was the special agent in charge of the Birmingham, Ala., and Phoenix field offices; the assistant special agent in charge in Honolulu; and an FBI deputy general counsel.

The Wisconsin native earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and economics from Indiana Wesleyan University in 1976 and a law degree from the Indiana University School of Law in 1979 before joining the FBI that year as an agent in Indianapolis, investigating bank robberies and property crimes. She earned a masters of law degree from the University of San Diego School of Law in 1983.


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