HAVANA TIMES — Cuban-American Rafael “Jorge” Garcia, a military officer who has received recognition for his work in the struggle against corruption, organized crime and terrorism, was appointed head of the FBI’s Directorate of Intelligence (DI) and become the highest-ranking Hispanic man within the rank and file of this federal agency.
FBI Director James B. Comey announced the appointment of Garcia, who had been deputy assistant director for the DI’s Intelligence Operations Branch, a position that entails oversight of many aspects of the FBI’s intelligence work, including the domain, collection, human intelligence, and source validation programs.
“Jorge is the type of leader I look for – someone who shares the vision of making our organization and its people great,” Comey declared in a communiqué published this Tuesday during the US mid-term elections.
Garcia’s promotions within the FBI have been exceptional in the past few years. In 2012, Garcia was named special agent in charge of the Intelligence Division at the Los Angeles Field Office, after having served as the director of the Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center (TEDAC) in Quantico, Virginia.
An child émigré from Cuba, Garcia was raised in Baltimore and received a Bachelor of Science degree from the U.S. Military Academy. During his 12 years in the military, he served in infantry, ranger, and aviation units, to include a combat tour as an Apache attack helicopter company commander with the 101st Airborne Division during the 1991 Gulf War.
Garcia joined the FBI in 1995. As a special agent assigned to the Phoenix Field Office, he investigated drug, organized crime, and terrorism cases, before being assigned to FBI Headquarters, where held several positions related to intelligence and counterterrorism, including chief of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Countermeasures Unit.
Service in Iraq
In 2004, Garcia served as the FBI’s deputy on-scene commander in Iraq. In this role, he was responsible for the day-to-day operational activity of FBI personnel in Iraq.
In 2007, he was promoted to assistant special agent in charge of the Philadelphia Field Office, where he supervised the Field Intelligence Group and intelligence program and the white-collar, public corruption, and civil rights programs.
In 2011, he was promoted to director of the Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center (TEDAC), in Virginia. The FBI acknowledged his outstanding work and direct support to a broad range of efforts by the government to prevent and mitigate improvised-explosive device (IED) attacks.
Garcia holds a Master of Counseling degree from the University of Phoenix and a Master of Science degree in strategic intelligence from the Defense Intelligence Agency’s Joint Military Intelligence College.