- A 21-year veteran of the FBI, he began his career working on organized crime and drug cases in Chicago before rising through the national security ranks of the agency following the 9/11 terror attacks
- Recognized thought leader in national security, with expertise in the growing threats posed by nation states, especially Russia and China
- For the last three years, he was responsible for all aspects of the FBI’s counterintelligence operations, including the development and implementation of the agency’s global strategy to counter foreign nations’ intelligence efforts
Mr. E. William (Bill) Priestap is a recognized thought leader in national security, with a particular expertise in the growing threats posed by certain foreign nations, especially Russia and China. After twenty-one years, he concluded his FBI career in April 2019.
For the last three years, Mr. Priestap was responsible for all aspects of the FBI’s counterintelligence mission as Assistant Director, including the development and implementation of the agency’s global strategy to counter foreign nations’ intelligence efforts against the United States. Under his leadership, the Counterintelligence Division also conducted the Hillary Clinton email and Russia election influence investigations.
As the principal official for counterintelligence, Mr. Priestap extensively engaged with numerous federal agencies, the National Security Council, the U.S. Congress, international partners, and the private sector.
Mr. Priestap began his career with the FBI in 1998 conducting organized crime and drug investigations in Chicago. After the events of 9/11, Mr. Priestap worked on counterterrorism cases until he was promoted to the FBI’s Office of Congressional Affairs at FBI headquarters in Washington, DC. While in Congressional Affairs, he was detailed to the U.S. Senate’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, where he assisted with the committee’s counterterrorism investigative and legislative efforts, including the development of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004.
Following his time on Capitol Hill, Mr. Priestap served as the Special Assistant to the Assistant Director of the Directorate of Intelligence, where he helped the FBI make significant changes in its intelligence program post 9/11.
In 2006, he was assigned to the FBI’s New York Office, and over the next several years held a variety of counterterrorism, intelligence, and counterintelligence managerial positions. He later became the Special Agent in Charge of the New York Office’s Counterintelligence Division, during which time he oversaw all of the office’s counterintelligence efforts.
Mr. Priestap was the winner of a National Intelligence Meritorious Unit Citation from the Director of National Intelligence in 2012 and the Meritorious Executive Presidential Rank Award in 2017.
Mr. Priestap is an attorney and holds a Master in Business Administration degree.