FBI Promotes First Woman, Latino to Rank of Assistant Director


More than 20 years after hiring its first female agents, the FBI on Wednesday promoted a woman and a Latino to the post of assistant director for the first time in its history.

FBI Director Louis J. Freeh said the appointments, and the elevation of a second black man to an assistant directorship, mark “a significant step toward my commitment to further diversity and excellence” in high-ranking bureau posts.

In announcing seven appointments and a restructuring of the FBI’s top command, Freeh called it “very likely” that the racial, ethnic and sexual makeup of the predominantly white, male organization would match that of the general population before his 10-year term ends.


Atty. Gen. Janet Reno, who participated in the announcement at FBI headquarters, said that “much remains to be done” in attaining an agent force that reflects the country’s population. Women agents, hired only after the death of longtime Director J. Edgar Hoover in May, 1972, constitute about 12% of the FBI’s 10,975 agents. In 1991 and 1992, the last two years in which new agents were hired, they accounted for 26% of those selected, Reno noted.

“It is so important that this bureau--that all of government--reflect America and the strength that exists throughout this nation,” she said.

The first woman assistant director is Burdena G. Pasenelli, who will head the bureau’s finance division and serve as the organization’s chief financial officer. She had been special agent in charge of the FBI’s Anchorage office, making her the only woman to lead one of the bureau’s 56 field offices. She joined the FBI as a special agent in January, 1973, six months after the first woman agent was hired.

Manuel J. Gonzalez, now second in command of the FBI’s Miami field office, was named assistant director for personnel. He was a detective with the New York City Police Department before joining the FBI in April, 1973.

Paul R. Philip, now deputy assistant director of the FBI’s inspection division, is the new assistant director for training and the second African-American to reach that level. He joined the FBI in June, 1973, and became special agent in charge of the San Juan, Puerto Rico, office before moving to Washington and the inspection division.

In other appointments, Freeh named:

* Steven L. Pomerantz, now assistant director for administrative services, as assistant director in charge of the criminal justice information services division.


* Robert M. Bryant, who now heads the FBI’s Washington metropolitan field office, as assistant director of the national security division, formerly the intelligence division.

* Anthony E. Daniels, now assistant director for training, as the newly created assistant director in charge of the Washington field office.

* William A. Bayse, now assistant director of the technical services division, as the new chief scientist.