Executive Assistant Director, National Security Branch
Jill Sanborn was named the executive assistant director of the National Security Branch in May 2021. In this role, she ensures the FBI executes its mission to defend the United States and its interests from national security threats. She most recently served as the assistant director of the Counterterrorism Division at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Ms. Sanborn began her FBI career as a special agent in 1998 and was assigned to the Phoenix Field Office to investigate bank fraud and computer intrusions. She joined the Phoenix Joint Terrorism Task Force in 2001 and has held primarily counterterrorism assignments since.
In 2006, Ms. Sanborn was added to the Counterterrorism Division’s Fly Team and deployed to Iraq, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, Kenya, and Pakistan. She was detailed to the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center as the acting deputy director for law enforcement in 2010.
Ms. Sanborn was promoted to unit chief in the Counterterrorism Division in 2011, leading more than 400 extraterritorial investigations covering Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Southeast Asia. She returned to the field in 2012 as a supervisory special agent at the Washington Field Office, where she managed overseas kidnapping cases and the extradition of four high-value terrorism subjects.
In 2015, Ms. Sanborn was promoted to assistant special agent in charge (ASAC) in the Los Angeles Field Office, where she directed counterterrorism matters in Orange County and the cities of West Covina and Riverside. As ASAC, she oversaw the investigation of the 2015 San Bernardino terror attack that left 14 dead and 22 injured.
Ms. Sanborn was promoted to section chief in the Counterterrorism Division at Headquarters in 2016 and was responsible for managing all counterterrorism investigations overseas. She was named head of the Minneapolis Field Office in 2018 and as the assistant director of the Counterterrorism Division in 2020.
Ms. Sanborn earned a bachelor’s business administration in finance from the University of Portland. Prior to joining the FBI, she was an investigator at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.