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Indian American appointed to head FBI in Salt Lake City

Shohini Sinha, renowned in the agency for her counterterrorism work, has been named the new special-agent-in-charge of the FBI’s office in Salt Lake City, which covers the states of Utah, Idaho, and Montana.

The FBI announced the appointment in a press release on Monday. Sinha most recently worked in Washington, D.C. as the executive special assistant to the director of the FBI, Christopher Wray. Wray appointed her to head the office for her exceptional record in counterterrorism investigation and long experience with the agency.

Prior to joining the FBI, Sinha worked as a therapist and hospital administrator, and she holds a bachelor’s in psychology and a master’s in mental health counseling from Purdue University.

Sinha joined the FBI in 2001. She started her career in the Milwaukee Field Office, later serving on temporary assignments in Guantánamo Bay Naval Base, with the FBI Legal Attaché Office in London, and in Baghdad. Unlike most countries’ national police agencies, the FBI is also involved in law enforcement overseas, with 60 Legal Attaché offices and 15 sub-offices in US embassies and consulates across the globe.

Heading liaison with Canadian law enforcement in 2009, Sinha was later promoted to be assistant legal attaché in the Canadian capital Ottawa in 2012. She collaborated with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the Canadian Secret Intelligence Service on counterterrorism.

Early in 2020, she was transferred to the FBI’s cyber intrusion squad, working on both national security and criminal hacking cases. Then, she was appointed special-agent-in-charge of the Portland Field Office for national security and criminal matters.

Her role in the FBI highlights the growing role of South Asians and women in the agency, but it still has a long way to go. According to the agency’s 2022 diversity report, only 27.3% of the agency are racial/ethnic minorities, with that falling to 18.6% for executives. For women, it is 45.4% and 25.9% for all agents and executives, respectively. On average the agency has increased racial diversity by 5.4% since 2018.

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