Emmerson Buie Jr. becomes Chicago’s first African-American FBI special agent

Emmerson Buie Jr. Photo credit: El Paso Times

Emmerson Buie Jr. is the first African-American Special Agent in charge of the FBI’s Chicago Field Office.

Buie Jr. was appointed into the new role four months ago by FBI Director Christopher Wray.

He most recently served as the Special Agent in charge of the El Paso Field Office in Texas.

“I have a family and it’s my family’s community,” Buie Jr. told Fox 32 Chicago

“I have a vested interest in protecting it to protect my family. I want to build a relationship. I want to protect my community. By the same token, in the event that something unfortunate happens, I want to heal my community as well.”

Buie Jr. joined the FBI in 1992 and was assigned to the Colorado Springs Resident Agency of the Denver Field Office, where he investigated criminal matters, according to the FBI website.

Emmerson Buie Jr. becomes Chicago's first African-American FBI special agent
Emmerson Buie Jr. is the first African American Special Agent in charge of the FBI’s Chicago Field Office. Photo credit: El Paso Times

He was promoted to supervisory special agent in 1999 and was assigned to the Weapons of Mass Destruction Operations Unit in the Counterterrorism Division at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

In 2002, Buie Jr. became the senior supervisory resident agent at the Fairview Heights Resident Agency in Illinois, under the Springfield Field Office. 

In 2006, he moved to London as the assistant legal attaché and the acting deputy legal attaché.

In an interview with the Sun-Times, Buie Jr. spoke about his days as growing first on the West Side and then moving to 73rd and Sangamon and later to 63rd and Aberdeen.

“The beauty of it was, growing up in a neighborhood as I did in the Englewood district, all the kids played together so it didn’t matter your age,” Buie Jr. said. “The younger kids were mentored by the older kids, and the older kids kind of taught you how to do things. So that was good. It was fun.”

While overseas, Buie Jr. served as the primary point of contact for coordinating the FBI’s participation in several international counterterrorism and anti-organized crime agencies.

Buie Jr. was promoted in 2008 to assistant special agent in charge of criminal matters and subsequently served over national security and administrative matters in the Springfield Field Office, the FBI’s website said. 

He also served as the office’s leadership development coordinator and in 2014, Buie served as the Cyber Division’s senior liaison to the National Cybersecurity, Communication, and Integration Center at the Department of Homeland Security. 

As liaison, Buie helped coordinate numerous public and private sector investigations and intelligence-sharing efforts between the FBI, DHS, and other agencies.

“By being out in the community, and working with the public – that is our best asset and biggest weapon: the relationship we are able to forge outside the FBI’s office,” Buie said.

Before joining the FBI, Buie served for four years in the U.S. Army as an infantry officer and served in Desert Storm. He was awarded a Bronze Star, Combat Infantry badge, and multiple accommodations and awards. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Western Illinois University.

Last Edited by:Kent Mensah Updated: March 3, 2020


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