FBI Director Christopher Wray has named longtime law enforcement official Paul M. Abbate to serve as his top aide as he continues his role as direct under President Biden’s administration, the agency announced on Monday.
Abbate will serve as the FBI’s deputy director and will oversee “FBI domestic and international investigative and intelligence activities,” the agency said in a press release. He replaced former deputy director David Bowdich, who retired ahead of Biden’s inauguration last month.
A longtime FBI official, Abbate became an associate deputy director in 2018. Prior to that role, he held a top leadership position in the FBI’s Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch and within its field offices in Washington, D.C. and Detroit.
In 2017, Abbate was on the shortlist of officials considered for the role of FBI director. Former President Donald Trump eventually tapped Wray for the post, though their relationship deteriorated in the final months of his term.
The Biden White House confirmed their intent to retain Wray as head of the FBI last month. Wray has less than seven years left on a 10-year term as director.
“President Biden intends to keep FBI Director Wray on in his role, and he has confidence in the job he is doing,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki tweeted on Jan. 21.