DeAnn Castillo
Supervisory Special Agent
San Antonio Field Office

As an FBI agent, I have seen horrific tragedy, but I’ve also seen the best in humanity. And I have faith that good will prevail.

I began my career working counterterrorism as an analyst with the FBI and with the National Counterterrorism Center. I later became an FBI agent, and my first assignment was working violent crime in North Carolina. I went back to FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C., to work national security matters and was then promoted to supervisory special agent working national security matters in San Antonio, Texas.  

What is the best career or life advice you’ve been given?   

If your intuition and your instincts are telling you something, then it’s important to drill down and ask smart questions on what that is and why. This could save your life, save someone else’s life, or lead you in a new direction during an investigation.    

What is the best career or life advice you have to give?   

Live a good life and have a career where you have fun, do meaningful work, and make an impact on the world. Try your best to push yourself outside of your comfort zone. Why not? Why not experience what your life and career can offer you and then learn from it? But, pay it back by what you learn from those experiences.

Celebration of 50 years of female special agents in the FBI. DeAnn Castillo from the San Antonio Field Office.

I joined the FBI because of September 11. After joining, I wanted to deploy to Iraq with the FBI, but to be honest, I was afraid, as I had never done anything like that before. I finally made the jump, deployed to Iraq for four months, and it was the highlight of my career. So much so that I signed up again and deployed a second time. For me, if I could do that, I could do anything.  

Who made a difference in your career? How?  

When I was in Iraq, I was part of an inter-agency task force and unfortunately saw an operation go completely awry with casualties. I was sitting in the joint operations command, which is like a big theater, and the anxious flurry of activity ensued. I remember looking over my shoulder to look at the military commander, who was in charge, and I expected to see the same chaos over his face. But that’s not what I saw. He was so calm, so collected, analytical, and calmly providing orders and direction to multiple people in the midst of chaos. I shouldn’t have been so surprised, as there are books written about his leadership. But to witness it was something different. I’m still not sure how I can attain that, but I certainly strive towards it.