Retired Agent Dr. John Glover, Ph.D. served in the FBI for 23 years. He became an Executive Assistant Director, one of three direct reports to the FBI Director and highest-ranking African American in the FBI. His last promotion, before he retired, marked the fifth time he had become the top black agent in the FBI and marked his remarkable and well-earned climb up the ranks.
In this episode of FBI Retired Case File Review, John Glover reviews the history of African American special agents in the FBI from 1919 through 2019, why diversity, especially in law enforcement, matters, and recounts stories from his extraordinary career in the FBI.
John Glover received his appointment as a Special Agent with the FBI in October 1966. Following a period of training at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia, he was assigned to the Kansas City Field Office in Missouri, where he served until February 1968, when he was transferred to the Washington, D.C. Field Office. In December 1972, he was transferred to the FBI Academy at Quantico, VA, as the FBI’s first African American Firearms and Defensive Tactics Instructor. In January 1974, he was promoted to supervisor in the Identification Division, FBI Headquarters, Washington, D.C. John Glover became an inspector’s aide in the Inspection Division, FBI Headquarters, from August 1975 to August 1976, when he assumed supervisory duties in the Laboratory Division. He then continued his series of “firsts” with his transfer and promotion to the Newark Field Office as Assistant Special Agent in Charge of all FBI operations in the state of New Jersey, before being designated as an inspector in the Planning and Inspection Division in July 1978.
John Glover made FBI history again when he was promoted to Special Agent in Charge of the Milwaukee Division in February 1979, where he was in charge of all FBI operations in the state of Wisconsin. In April 1980, he was reassigned as the Special Agent in Charge of the Atlanta, Georgia Office, where he oversaw the FBI investigation of the killings of black youths in Atlanta. The joint state-federal inquiry led to the arrest and conviction of Wayne Williams.
John Glover was named Assistant Director of the Inspection Division in September 1982, another first for an African American agent, and in April 1986, he was designated Executive Assistant Director for Administration, at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C. On March 31, 1989.
Executive Assistant Director (Retired)
“A diverse organization is a better organization, a more effective organization. That counts for the FBI as well.” —Retired Executive Assistant Director John Glover
The following are articles about John Glover, diversity in the FBI and the 100th Anniversary of African American Special Agents:
Pacific Standard – 3/20/2018: THE FBI HAS A SERIOUS DIVERSITY PROBLEM
NBC News – 8/19/2019: FBI agent applications up sharply, along with job satisfaction
FBI Jobs Website: The Diversity Agent Recruitment (DAR) Program
To learn more about the history of African Americans in the FBI, also listen to Episode 207: Wayne Davis – Director Hoover and FBI Diversity