WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced the next director and deputy director of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) Jan. 22.
Special Agent Mark Clookie, NCIS executive assistant director for combating terrorism, was named the next director of NCIS.
Secretary Mabus also announced that Mark Ridley, executive assistant director for criminal investigations, will be promoted to the position of NCIS deputy director.
Both appointments follow an exhaustive review and selection process, which included a series of interviews with senior leaders from the Navy, Marine Corps and Secretariat. The review and selection process culminated with Mabus making these decisions personally following his own set of interviews.
Clookie began his career with the then-Naval Investigative Service (NIS) in March 1982. He has served in Newport, Rhode Island and at both the NCIS Washington, D.C., Field Office and NCIS Headquarters in Washington, including a stint as assistant director for human resources.
Clookie was the resident agent in charge of the NCIS office in Okinawa, Japan, and was special agent in charge of the Middle East Field Office in Bahrain in the immediate aftermath of Sept. 11.
In 2007, he was promoted to NCIS executive assistant director for Middle East and Pacific operations. In 2009, Clookie became the executive assistant director for combating terrorism.
Prior to joining NCIS, Clookie, a Wisconsin native and graduate of the University of Maryland, was a police officer in Annapolis, Maryland. He is married and has three children. One daughter is an NCIS special agent, another daughter is with the Department of Defense and is deployed to Southwest Asia and his son is a recent graduate of the Citadel.
Ridley joined NCIS in 1987. He served as special agent afloat aboard the USS Forrestal (CV-59) in 1990 and posted assignments in Long Beach, Calif.; Sasebo, Japan; Jacksonville, Fla.; Camp Lejeune, N.C.; and Camp Pendleton, Calif., where he became the first special agent in charge of the Marine Corps West Field Office.
In 2004, Ridley was named deputy assistant director for counterintelligence operations, and the following year he was selected as assistant director for the newly formed Directorate of Intelligence. He was named executive assistant director for Pacific operations in 2006. In September 2007, Ridley was selected to be executive assistant director for criminal investigations.
Ridley has a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from the University of Nevada and a master's degree in justice administration from Norwich University. He and his wife have two sons and a daughter.
Making the leadership announcements during a gathering in the atrium of the NCIS Headquarters building on the Washington Navy Yard in front of hundreds of NCIS personnel and Under Secretary Robert Work, Mabus said he has great appreciation for what NCIS does.
"I want to emphasize the importance of NCIS and the incredibly important role that you play in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. I always describe the Navy as 'America's Away Team,' and NCIS sure is a part of that. You're forward deployed, you've got an incredible operational tempo, you're an expeditionary force; you are where our Sailors and Marines are. You are where we have issues in the world and you don't get the recognition that you should all the time," said Mabus.
Acting NCIS Director Gregory Scovel noted, "The next few years will be a period of extraordinary change within this agency as we initiate three separate headquarters moves, change personnel systems and respond to the expeditionary and emergent requirements that we know are just over the horizon. I am confident that Special Agent Clookie's experience, energy and character will serve the agency well as we meet these and other challenges."
Clookie and Ridley begin their new duties in February 2010.
For more news from Naval Criminal Investigative Service, visit www.navy.mil/local/ncis/.