James Comey, an American lawyer, was 7th Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) from 2013 until his dismissal in May 2017. He was appointed to the post by President Barack Obama.
Born in Yonkers, New York in 1960, James Comey began his rise as a government prosecutor after graduating from the University of Chicago Law School in 1985. He was appointed U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York in 2001, and in 2003 he became deputy attorney general.
As the FBI’s director, Comey oversaw the federal response to mass shootings in San Bernardino in December 2015 and at Pulse nightclub in Orlando the following June, at the time the deadliest in the country’s history. He also worked to address key leadership, agility, and diversity issues within the Bureau.
In May 2017, Comey became embroiled in controversy due to his investigations of 2016 presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. This led to his termination by President Trump in May 2017.
Following his termination, Comey leaked a private memo he had written after meeting with President Trump. The leaked memo was interpreted by some commentators as evidence of obstruction of justice by the president and became part of the Mueller investigation. Inspector General Horowitz found that Comey violated FBI policy regarding the memos, but the Department of Justice declined to prosecute Comey.
Additionally, Comey released a book titled “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership,” which did not disappoint with its tell-all accounts of the Trump White House.
Prior to his service at the FBI, Comey worked as a federal prosecutor in New York and Virginia as well as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York and the U.S. deputy attorney general in the administration of President George W. Bush.
In the private sector, he has worked at law firms and as the general counsel of Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest defense contractor, and Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund. Comey is the 2017–2018 Gwendolyn S. and Colbert I. King Endowed Chair in Public Policy at Howard University. He has been an adjunct professor at the University of Richmond School of Law and a Hertog Fellow in National Security Law at Columbia Law School.
A native of the New York metropolitan area, Comey attended the College of William & Mary and the University of Chicago Law School. He and his wife Patrice have five children and live in northern Virginia.
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