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Short Communications - Forensic Science Communications - July 2006

Short Communications - Forensic Science Communications - July 2006

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July 2006 - Volume 8 - Number 3

Short Communication

FBI Laboratory Director Retiring

Dwight E. Adams, Ph.D., FBI Laboratory Director
Dwight E. Adams, Ph.D.

FBI Laboratory Director

FBI Laboratory Director Dwight E. Adams, Ph.D., will retire June 30, 2006, after 23 years of service with the FBI.


Dr. Adams entered on duty as a Special Agent in 1983, serving in the FBI’s Memphis and Washington Field Offices before reporting to the Laboratory Division in 1987. He was part of the research team that developed and validated the DNA testing procedures ultimately used in the FBI and throughout the world. Dr. Adams was the first FBI Agent to testify in court on DNA analysis and testified more than 130 times for both the prosecution and defense in federal, state, and local courts.

From 1994 to 1996, Dr. Adams served in the FBI’s Newark Field Office. There he supervised the division’s Interstate Theft Squad and the Interstate Theft Task Force, a multiagency effort. He also served as the Violent Crimes Program Coordinator, supervising two successful undercover operations.

Dr. Adams returned to the Laboratory in 1997 as the Section Chief of the Forensic Science Research and Training Center. He also served as Chief of the Scientific Analysis Section, Deputy Assistant Director of the Forensic Analysis Branch and the Operational Support Branch, and Acting Assistant Director of the Laboratory before being appointed Laboratory Director on April 17, 2002.

During Dr. Adams’ tenure as Director, the Laboratory has faced numerous changes and challenges but has always risen to meet them. The terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, changed the FBI’s mission and priorities and created an unprecedented demand for FBI Laboratory services. The Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center, created in 2003 under Dr. Adams’ direction, receives thousands of items related to terrorist-initiated explosive devices. Terrorist incidents, military casualties, criminal cases, and natural disasters, both at home and abroad, keep Laboratory staff busy and sometimes stretch Laboratory resources to the limit. The Laboratory’s facility in Quantico, Virginia, completed in 2003, helps the Laboratory meet the diverse needs of its constituents.

Dr. Adams has dedicated his career to improving the quality of service in the FBI Laboratory and the forensic sciences. His accomplishments were recognized in 2003 when he received the Presidential Rank Award of Distinguished Executive, an award given to only a small number of senior government executives each year.

On February 27, 2006, the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) announced that Dr. Adams would become the Director of the UCO Forensic Science Institute beginning July 1, 2006.

Laboratory personnel joined an intimate gathering of former colleagues, family members, and friends to honor Dr. Adams prior to his retirement. During the ceremony, Laboratory executives surprised Dr. Adams with the first Dwight E. Adams Forensic Science Research Award, which was presented to Dr. Billy W. Acon, a Visiting Scientist assigned to the Laboratory’s Counterterrorism and Forensic Science Research Unit. The award recognizes the contributions of the Visiting Scientists to the FBI mission, as well as Dr. Adams’ unwavering commitment to forensic science research and development.

Dr. Adams presents the first Dwight E. Adams Forensic Science Research Award to FBI Visiting Scientist Billy Acon, Ph.D.
Dr. Adams presents the first Dwight E. Adams Forensic Science Research Award to FBI Visiting Scientist Billy W. Acon, Ph.D.