Kimberly Vagos Blackwood
Boston Field Office
Born in 1972, the first year women were permitted to be FBI special agents, I started my FBI career as a file clerk in 1996 and became an agent in early 2001. I have worked cases in a number of areas, but have focused on complex financial crimes, health care fraud, and other white-collar investigations.
What is the best career or life advice you’ve been given?
In the days and weeks following the terrorist attacks of 9/11, we were all working extremely long hours and not getting a lot of sleep. A few weeks in, I knew I needed to get some exercise, so I snuck out for a quick run. I was feeling guilty and hoping that no one would see me. In the elevator on my way outside, I bumped into a very senior agent. I apologized profusely for sneaking out for a run.
Instead of being upset, he validated the decision I made: “You always give the job as much as you can,” he told me. “But you have to make sure to take time for your mental and physical well-being. Finding this balance is the key to success.”
What is the best career or life advice you have to give?
I would advise all new agents to leave their desks and get out of the office. Work with other federal, state, and local partners on all cases. Every other agency has resources to offer that can only help strengthen an investigation. One of the best parts of being an agent is the relationships we make with our law enforcement partners.