Short Communications - New FBI Laboratory Director Appointed - October 2008
October 2008 - Volume 10 - Number 4
New FBI Laboratory Director Appointed
In June 2008, FBI Director Robert Mueller, III, appointed Dr. David Christian (Chris) Hassell as the new Laboratory Director. Dr. Hassell came to the FBI from the Oklahoma State University Multispectral Laboratories (UML), a multiagency facility and laboratory bringing together industry, government, and academia to focus on testing, evaluating, and implementing defense, homeland security, energy, and intelligence systems. At UML, Dr. Hassell led research, development, testing, and evaluation initiatives.
Dr. Hassell’s previous experience includes both private industry and public laboratories. He served as assistant vice president for science and technology at Applied Marine Technologies Inc., a government contracting firm and subsidiary of Science Applications International Corp. Prior to that, he worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), where he led programs in analytical chemistry, instrument development, and forensics and attribution for weapons of mass destruction. Many of these programs included mentoring undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral research associates. One of his major accomplishments at LANL involved serving as a subject-matter expert for chemical and biological warfare on the Iraq Survey Group. Dr. Hassell and his colleagues provided on-the-ground technical expertise on weapons of mass destruction by conducting on-site inspections, interviewing scientists and engineers, and exploiting documents and evidence.
Earlier in his career, Dr. Hassell served as a senior research chemist for DuPont, developing online analytical instrumentation for chemical and bioprocess facilities to use in research and manufacturing.
Dr. Hassell earned his Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from the University of Texas and his bachelor of science degree in chemistry from Brigham Young University. He is a prolific researcher and author and has published numerous scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals and books. As a leader both on the job and off, Dr. Hassell has held numerous leadership positions in professional organizations and facilitated programs at technical symposia.
Dr. Hassell’s first week at the Laboratory coincided with the FBI’s celebration of its 100th anniversary. He kicked off the Laboratory’s family day event to mark this celebration with the following words:
It is an honor to welcome you to the FBI Laboratory today during this 100th anniversary celebration. This is one of my first official acts as the new Assistant Director for the Laboratory Division, and welcoming you to such an event holds special meaning for me. I toured the Lab as a child 40 years ago—I was in awe of it then, and I still marvel at all that these great people do. I wish you a day of wonder and pride as we celebrate this centennial together.
Dr. Hassell replaces Dr. Joseph A. DiZinno, who retired in February and previously served as the Editor of Forensic Science Communications. The Editors welcome Dr. Hassell as he leads the FBI Laboratory to new successes.
Dr. D. Christian Hassell