265: 50th Anniversary of Women FBI Agents – Panel Discussion

This special 50th anniversary of women FBI agents episode features a lively and honest conversation with previous guests of FBI Retired Case File Review.

These retired agents talk about normally taboo “women’s issues” like biases and babies, and provide inspirational messages about being a female agent in the FBI.

Panel members addressed the following questions:

  1. Before you joined, what were your expectations about working for the FBI and did they change over your career?
  2. Can you talk about the unique strengths that women agents bring to the FBI?
  3. What advice would you give to women who are considering a career as a special agent in the FBI?
  4. Did you ever question if you belonged and if you did, what did you do to push past those negative thoughts?
  5. How did having children or not having children affect your FBI career?
  6. Women make up only 22 percent of the special agent ranks. What are the benefits to the FBI increasing the number of female agents?

50th Anniversary of Women FBI Agents panel discussion participants:

Lauren Anderson (02/84 – 12/12) – Episode 156 Casablanca Bombings, Paris LEGAT  Retired agent Lauren Anderson served in the FBI for nearly 29 years. During her career, she worked counterintelligence and counterterrorism cases and served as FBI Legal Attaché (Legat) in the Paris Office. She was Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC) of the International Terrorism Branch of the New York Joint Terrorism Task Force and served as the interim Special Agent in Charge of the New York Counterterrorism Division and the Intelligence Division.


Julia Cowley (6/1999 – 5/2021) – Episode 242: Golden State Killer, BAU Profiler Retired agent Julia Cowley served nearly 22 years in the FBI. She was a profiler in the Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) followed by her selection to the FBI Laboratory, Evidence Response Team Unit. Julia later returned to the Boston Division as the supervisor of the Springfield Resident Agency, where she oversaw all federal criminal investigations in western Massachusetts. She is the host of The Consult, a true crime podcast where she and former BAU colleagues examine behavior exhibited before, during, and after the of a criminal act.


Gina Davis (6/1988 – 1/2013- Episode 069: Triple Murder, Safe Streets Taskforce Retired agent Gina Davis served 25 years with the FBI. She spent most of her Bureau career working Violent Crimes and Drug Trafficking cases. She was in charge of the Tacoma Resident Agency out of the Seattle Division, where she started both a Safe Streets Task Force and a Joint Terrorism Task Force. Her last Bureau assignment was in the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division (CID) where she served as Chief of Staff for the Assistant Director and traveled around the world.


Masayo Halpin (12/1997 – 12/2017) – Episode 249: Human Trafficking, Commercial Sexual Exploitation Retired agent Masayo Halpin served in the FBI for twenty years. During her career, she was assigned to the Portland Division, where, for most of her Bureau career, she primarily worked human trafficking cases on a Violent Crimes Squad. She was also a member of the Hostage Negotiation Team and Evidence Response Team. She ended her career at the FBI as the Recruiter and working Community Outreach.


Jane Mason (1/1986 – 4/2014) – Episode 174: Environmental Crime, Evidence Collection Retired agent Jane Mason served more than 28 years with the FBI. Initially assigned to the Kansas City Division, she spent most of her career in the New York Office, where she worked White Collar Crime cases with a heavy focus on Environmental Crimes. As a collateral duty, for 16 years, Jane Mason also served as the Evidence Response Team (ERT) leader collecting forensic evidence at hundreds of local, national, and international of crime scenes. She runs Secure Investigations, a private investigations company and publishes the Secure FBI Directory, a networking and referral tools for retired and former FBI special agents.


Katherine Schweit (1997 – 2017) – Episode 255: School Shootings, Active Shooter Program Retired agent Katherine Schweit served in the FBI for twenty years. Her first assignment was to the Milwaukee Division, where she worked national security matters. She was promoted to FBI Headquarters and assigned to the Counterintelligence Division’s Training Center at Quantico and then joined the new National Security Branch executive staff. Her last Bureau assignment was as a senior executive, guiding the formation of the FBI’s active shooter initiative. Katherine is the author of Stop the Killing: How to End the Mass Shooting Crisisand the host of the Stop the Killing podcast.


Kathy Stearman (5/1987 – 7/2013) – Episode 233: FBI in India and China, Women in the FBI, It’s Not About the Gun Retired agent Kathy Stearman served in the FBI for more than 26 years. She served as the FBI Legal Attaché (Legat) in India, based out of New Delhi, and Legat in Beijing, China. Her last Bureau assignment, prior to retirement, was as Supervisory Special Agent of a national security squad in the FBI’s San Francisco Division. Kathy is an author. Her expectation shattering memoir is titled, It’s Not About the Gun: Lessons from My Global Career as a Female FBI Agent.


Judy Tyler (12/1979 – 7/2010) –  Episode 238: Drug Kingpin Maurice Phillips, Death Penalty Case Retired agent Judy Tyler served 31 years with the FBI. She spent most of her career in the Philadelphia Division working investigations targeting violent drug trafficking. During her Bureau career, she specialized in the recruitment, development, and operation of human intelligence, also known as informants, sources, and cooperating witnesses. Post-retirement, as a contract instructor, Judy continues to share her expertise in training current FBI agents as part of a specialized in-service program.


Jerri Williams (9/1982 – 11/2008) – Episode 244: Jerri Williams – Loan Shark, Check Cashing Extortion Case Retired agent Jerri Williams served in the FBI for 26 years. She worked major economic fraud investigations, such as Ponzi schemes, advance fee scams, business-to-business telemarketing fraud, and embezzlements. Toward the end of her Bureau career, Jerri was appointed as the spokesperson for the Philadelphia Division of the FBI, educating and informing the media and public about the Bureau. She is an author and the host of FBI Retired Case File Review.


If you’re interested in applying for a position with the FBI, please visit FBIJobs.gov and listen to FBI Retired Case File Review’s recruiting episodes.

257: FBI Special Agent Hiring and Training Update

258: Listener Q & A – SA and Analyst Positions, FBI Academy Training

Read more about women FBI agents on the FBI website 50th anniversary series – Celebrating Today’s Female Special Agents.

Jerri Williams

View posts by Jerri Williams
Jerri Williams, a retired FBI agent, author and podcaster, jokes that she writes about the FBI to relive her glory days. After 26 years with the Bureau specializing in major economic fraud and corruption investigations, she calls on her professional encounters with scams and schemers to write police procedurals inspired by true crime FBI cases in her Philadelphia FBI Corruption Squad crime fiction series featuring flawed female FBI agent Kari Wheeler. Jerri’s FBI for Armchair Detectives nonfiction series enables readers to discover who the FBI is and what the FBI does by debunking misconceptions about the FBI in books, TV, and movies. Her books are available as ebooks, paperbacks, and audiobooks wherever books are sold. She’s also the host of FBI Retired Case File Review, a true crime podcast with more than 300 episodes available on all popular podcast apps and YouTube.


  1. […] 265: 50th Anniversary of Women FBI Agents – Panel Discussion […]

  2. GriselApril 24, 2023

    I just listened to this episode. I appreciate everyone’s courage with speaking their truth. What fabulous careers they all had!

    1. Jerri WilliamsApril 28, 2023

      Thanks for listening! Producing this episode was a proud moment for me. It really shows the journey women agents took to get where we are today.


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