Amy L.
Special Agent
Washington Field Office

After five years in pharmaceutical research and development, I began my FBI career in June 2002. I was assigned to the Counterterrorism Division of the Washington Field Office, where I have mostly worked international terrorism investigations.

Early in my career, I had the opportunity to work alongside one of the first female special agents in the FBI. She was a fantastic role model who demonstrated logic, dedication, open mindedness, and respect for the Bureau, the position, and her colleagues. I quietly studied her and other agents who exhibited confidence, strength, and knowledge in an effort to try and learn as much as possible. It has been a privilege to have worked with so many amazing FBI employees over the years, and they are in large part why I have found fulfillment and joy in this career.

What drew you to the FBI?

As a chemistry major in college I was drawn to the field of forensic science. My college did not have a specific forensic science program, but for a summer internship one professor helped me design and conduct a mitochondrial DNA study with an emphasis on potential applications to forensics. This is when I first started thinking about possible careers with the FBI.

Although 9/11 occurred before I was an agent, those events inspired me to work terrorism matters, and I continue to be honored to serve in a role centered on upholding the Constitution and protecting the American people.

Amy L.: Washington Field Office

Describe your most memorable investigative success.

Coming from a science background where I often worked alone or with only a few people in a lab, I quickly realized that as an agent I was now in a career where knocking on the doors of strangers would be a regular part of my job. Even when the interviewee was receptive and cooperative, learning to ask the right questions was a challenge. Then, there is the even tougher job of gathering information from people who may not want to cooperate with an investigation. Learning to find common ground, ask the right questions, and draw people out was challenging, but it has proven to be an invaluable tool toward my investigative success.

Share the thing you are most proud of from your FBI career.

Continuing to be persistent after 20 years of being an FBI agent is what I am most proud of. The FBI is many amazing things, but it also continues to be a bureaucracy where employees frequently encounter policies they must navigate. FBI agents also work with other agencies and organizations that have their own separate rules and policies. Steering around those hurdles, interagency politics, and the many different personalities while trying to get the help needed requires perseverance and endurance. I remain proactive to get questions answered and obtain needed information in order to advance investigations.