James A. Gagliano
FBI (Ret.) Supervisory Special Agent (SSA)
James A. Gagliano was born in Fort Ord, California and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree and a concentration in Military History from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1987. He was commissioned as an Infantry Officer in the United States Army, serving as a Light Infantry Platoon Leader and Company Executive Officer in the 10th Mountain Division, while stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia, and Fort Drum, New York. His awards include the Airborne, Air Assault and Jungle Expert badges, Ranger tab, and Expert Infantryman’s badge.
Mr. Gagliano entered on duty as an FBI Special Agent (SA) on February 10, 1991. From 1991 to 1997, Mr. Gagliano was assigned to the New York Division, where he worked Organized Crime, Narcotics and Money Laundering investigations. In early 1997, Mr. Gagliano was selected for the Hostage Rescue Team (HRT), the FBI’s elite counter-terror unit located in Quantico, VA, participating in numerous overseas deployments and high-risk tactical resolutions, before returning to the New York Division in 2001 to work Drug matters and as the principal Undercover Agent (UCA) on Police Corruption, Drug, Gambling, and Organized Crime cases. In November 2002, Mr. Gagliano was selected as the Senior Team Leader (STL) of the 45-man FBI New York Office SWAT Team, where he also served as an attachment to Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) U.S. military units in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom on three separate deployments between 2002/2003. In November 2005, Mr. Gagliano was named to head the Crisis Management and Operations Center Programs in New York. Assignments included oversight of the SWAT Program, USERT (Dive Search), ERT (Crime Scene), Operational Medicine, Rapid Deployment, the Special Agent Bomb Technicians (SABTs), & the Hazardous Materials Response Team (HMRT). Responsibilities also included the design & execution of annual Field Training Exercises; one involved approximately 1,000 NYO employees, which was featured on CNN’s “Out in the Open” television show in September 2007. He was awarded the FBI’s Medal for Bravery, the FBI’s second highest award for valor, for actions in June of 1993 while serving on the SWAT Team.
In May 2008, Mr. Gagliano was named Supervisory Senior Resident Agent (SSRA) of the NYO’s Hudson Valley Resident Agency (HVRA), responsible for FBI operations in the upstate New York counties of Orange, Dutchess and Sullivan. He subsequently formed the Hudson Valley Safe Streets Task Force (HVSSTF) in 2009, and in 2010, his multi-agency unit received the “Top Gang Unit” award by the New York Gang Investigator’s Association (NYGIA), and the “True American Hero” award from the Federal Drug Agents Foundation (FDAF) for the multiple high profile prosecutions of violent street gangs.
In August of 2012, Mr. Gagliano was selected as the Deputy Legal Attaché (DLAT) in México City, México. After completing Spanish language training at the Department of State’s Foreign Service Institute (FSI) in February of 2013, he posted to the U.S. Embassy in México, serving as the DLAT and the Acting Legal Attaché (a Senior Executive Service position), the senior F.B.I. law enforcement official and the Director’s personal representative to the Mexican government, while overseeing federal law enforcement operations that included kidnappings, white collar crime, foreign espionage, crimes against children, cyber matters, narco-trafficking, and fugitive apprehension (including capture of two FBI “Top Ten” fugitives) until June of 2014.
Mr. Gagliano was then appointed Chief of Staff, Special Assistant to the Assistant-Director-in-Charge in January of 2015 for the FBI’s largest field office in New York, which includes 2,400 employees and encompasses all FBI operations within the five boroughs of New York City, eight upstate counties, as well as the La Guardia, John F. Kennedy International, and Stewart International airports. He retired from the FBI, after 25 years of service, on December 31, 2015. Mr. Gagliano currently serves as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at St. John’s University in Jamaica, Queens, where he graduated summa cum laude with a M.P.S. in Homeland Security and Criminal Justice Leadership in 2016. He also speaks on Leadership topics for corporate executive clients with the Thayer Leader Development Group (TLDG) at his alma mater, the United States Military Academy.
Mr. Gagliano currently serves as a full-time Law Enforcement Analyst on CNN. He has also been featured in several scholarly books on ‘Leadership’ such as “In Extremis Leadership”, and “Leadership Lessons from West Point”, in the New York Times, New York Newsday, on NPR, and in Hudson Valley Magazine for his anti-gang efforts and years of volunteer work with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and was featured in an episode of the ‘American Chopper’ television series, related to his efforts in Newburgh, New York. NBC New York also featured him in a televised story highlighting his coaching and crime-fighting efforts within the inner-cities of upstate New York; FBI Agent Helping to “Save” Children of Newburgh. He was also the subject of a September 2011 issue of New York Magazine, in a story entitled “Welcome to Newburgh, Murder Capital of New York: Can FBI Agent James Gagliano Make Newburgh Safe?” He is a sought after speaker in academic and motivational settings on Leadership topic, and has published Op-Eds at CNN Opinion, The Hill, The Washington Examiner, and Fortune Magazine.
Mr. Gagliano is married to his wife Tiffany, the Chief Assistant County Attorney for Family Law & Juvenile Justice in Orange County, New York. They have five children between them, sharing custody of one sweet rescued PitBull Terrier, JAXON.