The new Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, former Justice Department executive and veteran prosecutor Robert S. Mueller III, is a Marine combat veteran who served in Vietnam. Mr. Mueller, who has a reputation as a tough-minded administrator, takes over an organization rocked in recent years by scandal and embarrassing incidents, including the arrest of a veteran agent, Robert P. Hanssen, as a spy for the Russians and the revelation that the agency failed to turn over investigation-related documents to the lawyers for Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.
Mr. Mueller served most recently as Acting Deputy Attorney General for the Department of Justice. In October 1999, he was confirmed by the Senate as the United States Attorney for the Northern District of California in San Francisco. He previously had been chief of the Homicide Section of the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Colombia, where he had served since 1995 as senior litigation counsel in the Homicide Section until assuming the position as chief in 1997.
In 1990, Mr. Mueller was named Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Criminal Division of the Justice Department. He supervised several high-profile prosecutions, including that of General Manuel Noriega of Panama on drug charges and New York Mob boss John Gotti. He also supervised the inquiry into the 1988 bombing of Pan American Flght 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, and helped develop the Justice Department’s policies on corporate sentencing guidelines, computer crime investigations, and health care and money laundering prosecutions.
Mr. Mueller previously had been an assistant to Attorney General Richard Thornburgh, and from 1986 to 1987 served as United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts. He has also held various positions as a prosecutor and supervisor and has had experience in private law practice.
Mr. Mueller, who was born in 1944, received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1966 from Princeton University and a Master’s degree in international studies from New York University. He earned his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1973, where he served on the Law Review.
Mr. Mueller served as an officer in the Marine Corps for three years, including one year assigned to the Third Marine Division in Vietnam. He received the Bronze Star, two Navy Commendation Medals, the Purple Heart, and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.