Paul Abbate currently serves as the Associate Deputy Director, a position in which he is responsible for the management and oversight of all U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) personnel, budget, administration and infrastructure, as well as the inspection of insider threat programs.
Abbate began his FBI career as a special agent in March 1996, assigned to the New York Field Office, where he worked in the Criminal Division and served as a member of the SWAT team. In 2003, he joined the Counterterrorism Division as a supervisory special agent overseeing FBI operations in Iraq. During his career, Abbate has led the counterterrorism program in various positions and has served in leadership roles on the Joint Terrorism Task Forces of the Los Angeles and Newark, N.J. Field Offices. Abbate has also led FBI operations overseas while deployed in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.
In 2012, Abbate was appointed special agent in charge of counterterrorism at the Washington, D.C. Field Office and in 2013, the special agent in charge of the Detroit Field Office. In September 2015, he was appointed assistant director in charge of the Washington Field Office, where he served until his appointment as the executive assistant director for the Criminal, Cyber, Response and Services Branch in December 2016. In this capacity, Abbate oversaw all FBI criminal and cyber investigations worldwide, international operations, critical incident response and victim services.
“From an FBI perspective,” says Abbate, “I’m most proud of the hard work that our people do day in and day out, 24/7, to keep others safe from harm and protect our country – particularly as they’ve worked tirelessly to overcome the challenges present in the current operating environment. They have shown tremendous agility and resilience in carrying out our mission, while everyday life and work have been altered in unimaginable ways by the ongoing pandemic. From a programmatic viewpoint, one of our most significant strategic advancements has been the development of our Insider Threat Office over the past several years. We have made tremendous progress toward putting in place effective internal measures to protect our people, information and facilities from the myriad of threats we face every day.”
For those aspiring to a career in security or law enforcement, he says it’s essential to always remain vigilant and stay focused on effectively countering the most severe and immediate threats at a tactical level, while never losing sight of the broader strategic horizon. Abbate adds, “These dual objectives are best accomplished through relentless engagement, communication, collaboration and teamwork. The mission is best served by working hard to protect people from the terrorism, cyber, criminal and foreign intelligence threats we face today, while simultaneously adapting, innovating and offering a vision for the future in order to stay ahead of emerging threats and outpace adversaries.”