A Higher Loyalty
James Comey
Contributed by Jack Shields
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Chapter 8

President Obama tapped Comey from the private sector and seconded him to be the country’s Director of the FBI. It was a decision that was not only surprising but also confusing since Comey had left public service way back in 2005. Besides, there were individuals within the rank and file of the Bureau who were qualified to take up the position. While appreciating the enormity of the task that lay ahead of him, Comey was under no illusion that they were insurmountable. He says that, “My days were consumed by both emergencies and the disciplined execution of priority programs. I was trying to transform the way the FBI approached leadership, cyber, diversity, and intelligence, among other things, which required regular CEO—or director—focus to drive them forward.” While he was aware of the challenges that stood before him, Comey thought about the origin of the organization, in particular, the legendary J. Edgar Hoover who led the organization with an iron fist and in the process striking fear among the political class. When Comey took over, the political class did not fear the FBI as it had been the case in the decades of Hoover regime. During the time, the director was the absolute center. His approach brought tremendous fame, attention, and power to the organization. The situation was not the same when Comey took over the mantle. The service was no longer a machine driven by one man, and neither was it a tool used in frightening politicians.


 Having worked in the private sector since 2005 when he left the government, Comey did not expect the invitation for an interview for the position of FBI director. Nonetheless, he received the offer from President Barrack Obama, and he readily accepted. Comey took over the leadership of the FBI when it was facing a barrage of issues ranging from inefficiencies to the negative public opinion. The challenges were devastating in every respect, but Comey was ready to confront them. Being appreciative of the difficulties that the FBI faced, Comey took it upon himself to transform the leadership of the organization. In all respects of his life in office, Comey showed commitment to serve the people of America with utmost diligence.

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