Paul H. Haertel

Assistant Director, Critical Incident Response Group

Paul H. Haertel was named assistant director of the FBI’s Critical Incident Response Group in February 2021. The Critical Incident Response Group integrates the FBI’s tactical, negotiations, behavioral analysis, and crisis management resources into one cohesive structure. Mr. Haertel had most recently served as the special agent in charge of the Salt Lake City Field Office.

Mr. Haertel joined the FBI as a special agent in 1995 and was assigned to the Lexington Resident Agency of the Louisville Field Office in Kentucky. He specialized in rural Appalachia investigations and worked drug and violence crime cases. He also was as a member of the office’s SWAT team.

In 2003, Mr. Haertel was transferred to the Counterterrorism Division at FBI Headquarters. He became a unit chief in the division in 2005, responsible for terrorism investigations in the northeastern United States. In 2006, he moved to South Carolina to lead the Greenville Resident Agency of the Columbia Field Office, where he also led the SWAT team and targeted violent gangs.

Mr. Haertel reported to Prague as the assistant legal attaché in 2010. In 2013, he was named the legal attaché and oversaw a variety of investigations, including international public corruption, violent crime, and money laundering cases. He returned to the U.S. in 2015 as an assistant special agent in charge at the Salt Lake City Field Office, responsible for the criminal program in Idaho, Montana, and Utah.

He was promoted to chief of the Counterintelligence Division’s Counterespionage Section at FBI Headquarters in 2017. In 2018, he was named deputy assistant director for the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division. He moved back to Salt Lake City as the special agent in charge in 2019

Mr. Haertel earned a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from Middlebury College in Vermont. Prior to joining the FBI, he served as a SEAL operator in the U.S. Navy.