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HAPCOA Award Winner recently named Director of NCIS

May 30, 2019

(Washington, DC)  The Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer recently named Omar Lopez Director of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS).  This makes Director Lopez the first Hispanic to serve as Director of this Federal Investigative Agency. 

Director Lopez was the winner of the HAPCOA Silver Medal of Meritorious Service awarded by the President of HAPCOA, Rich Rosa, May 1st, 2019 in Baltimore, MD. 

HAPCOA Salutes Director Lopez and we wish clear skies and smooth sailing. 

Here is the official US Navy/NCIS posting: 


1.  The Director is pleased to announce the senior leadership appointment of Executive Assistant Director (EAD) Omar Lopez to the position of NCIS Director, effective June 4, 2019. 

2.  Special Agent Lopez was selected following a highly competitive process involving the executive resources board initiated by Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer and Undersecretary of the Navy Thomas Modly. 

3.  Special Agent Lopez served most recently as EAD for the National Security Directorate (NSD).  He exercised oversight over global counterterrorism and counterintelligence investigations and operations, including espionage, terrorism, compromise, technology transfer, virtual/cyber operations, threats to research development and acquisition programs, force protection, and Insider Threat programs.  He previously served as the Assistant Director and Deputy Assistant Director for NSD, where he spearheaded a unique NCIS-led critical technology protection task force.  This task force tackled complex cyber exfiltration to mitigate adversaries’ compromise of critical information belonging to the Department of the Navy (DON), affiliated companies, laboratories, and applied research centers.  The task force developed business practices and processes to enhance lethality and sharpen competitive advantage; and serves as a unique DON capability, aligning NCIS better with the National Defense Strategy and the DON Business Operations Plan.  During this period, he also served as the first DON Counterintelligence Coordinating Authority and effectively fostered consensus among Navy and Marine Corps leadership. 

4.  Special Agent Lopez has held Headquarters and Field Office leadership positions, both CONUS and OCONUS, across diverse mission areas.  Early in his NCIS career, Special Agent Lopez worked extensively on several major undercover narcotic operations.  He was later assigned as the lead investigator in a high profile FBI/NCIS espionage case, which resulted in the successful prosecution of key Chinese 
espionage operatives.  He then completed specialized advanced training and operational assignments in the field, where he developed innovative NCIS operational practices, used both domestically and overseas.  Special Agent Lopez led additional efforts to transform traditional activities to better support NCIS mission priorities and DON strategic decision makers. 

5. Prior to joining NCIS, he practiced law in Washington, D.C. with a firm that specialized in risk management, commercial litigation and energy regulation.  He served formerly on active duty after receiving his commission from the Navy as a Judge Advocate in 1995.  He served in assignments with the Military Court of Appeals, Staff Judge Advocate for senior Navy staffs, Trial Counsel, and the Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in California.  While in the Navy Reserve, he served as the Deputy 
Force Judge Advocate for the Naval Special Warfare Command.  He earned a JurisDoctorate degree from Loyola Law School and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science with honors from California State University (Pomona). 

6.  Special Agent Lopez’s superior leadership and years of dedicated service with NCIS will ensure continued high quality support to the Department of the Navy. 

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