Agent Tam Dao Describes Joining FBI

Tam Dao, a special agent in the Houston Division who primarily investigates national security crimes while also serving as a professor at the University of Houston, was born in Vietnam just weeks before the fall of Saigon in 1975.

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Prior to joining the Bureau, I was a professor at a university, University of Houston, and joint appointment at Baylor College of Medicine—that’s where I did a lot of research. And I saw one side of personality assessment. And then during that same time period I started working a lot with the court system, being an expert witness in a lot of the cases. I think about 100 cases I’ve been an expert witness in. So, I got to see the law enforcement side. So right about that time frame is when I said I’ll check out the law enforcement side also a little bit.

Within the FBI, there’s just so many things for me to do, from being a certified negotiator to working with folks up at Headquarters, analyze their data, because my background is in statistics. So, you can have a degree, like myself, that’s not like law enforcement, and be a professor like myself, be a psychologist like myself, and just come on in and serve your country.

You can come from a completely different background with really no knowledge in law enforcement, but love your country and love the idea of what an FBI agent does or serves. The Bureau has a place for you. As long as you are honest, and obey the Constitution and work hard, just basic values the FBI appreciates or thrives upon: fidelity, bravery, integrity kind of stuff.

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