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FBI Deputy Director offers advice to criminal justice students

He’s the third generation of New Mexico men to serve and protect, and now David Bowdich ’91 has the top job in the FBI not appointed by the President. As the FBI’s deputy director, he oversees all FBI domestic and international investigative and intelligence activities.

NMSU Chancellor Dan Arvizu pointed to Bowdich’s accomplishments as a result of hard work and a great college education.

“We have Aggies in places all around the country,” Arvizu says. “I think that promotes the value of the education that they receive here. It demonstrates the quality of people who have gone to school here at New Mexico State University.”

After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, Bowdich joined the Albuquerque Police Department following in the footsteps of his father, who later became sheriff of Bernalillo County. Bowdich’s grandfather was deputy chief of the Albuquerque Fire Department. Bowdich began climbing the ranks of the FBI in 1995 and was named deputy director in 2018.

“Part of leadership is building teams,” Bowdich says. “I found people who are smarter than me, better than me. You don’t always have to have all the answers. You have to have people around you who can help you find the right answers.”

At a November 2019 visit to campus, Bowdich talked one-on-one with criminal justice majors seeking career advice at the mentoring center, and gave a talk to more than 120 criminal justice students, faculty and local law enforcement. In response to a question from one of the students, Bowdich encouraged students to value their NMSU education against any Ivy League school.

“There is not one of those folks who is better than anyone sitting in this room,” Bowdich says. “There are some that have had exposure to other things that you might not have, but recognize that you’ve got skills. Whatever you choose to do, own it.”


David Bowdich, deputy director of the FBI, visited the NMSU campus in November 2019. During his visit, he spoke to a crowd of criminal justice faculty and students and local law enforcement. Below: He also spoke with criminal justice students including Joseph Linares (right) and Alberto Renteria.