Department of Defense Inspector General: Who Is Glenn Fine?

Saturday, January 07, 2017
Glenn Fine

Glenn Fine, who previously served as Inspector General in the Department of Justice (DOJ), was appointed acting Inspector General for the Department of Defense in January, 2016, and was nominated by President Obama for the job on a permanent basis on September 28, 2016.


Fine, who was born in 1956, is from Melrose Park, Pennsylvania. His father, Morton, was an anti-trust attorney in the DOJ. The younger Fine attended Cheltenham High, where he played basketball. He continued to play while he attended Harvard, leading the Ivy League in assists.

Fine played so well, in fact, that after he graduated with a B.A. in economics in 1979, he had a choice. He could accept a Rhodes Scholarship to study at Oxford University, or he could join the San Antonio Spurs of the NBA, who had drafted Fine in the 10th round. Fine chose England over Texas and earned a B.A./M.A. in politics, philosophy and economics from Oxford’s Pembroke College. He then returned to Harvard, this time for a law degree in 1985.


Fine started his law career as an assistant U.S. Attorney in Washington in 1986. He left in 1989 for a spot as an associate at the Washington firm of Bredhoff & Kaiser, where he worked on labor and employment law.


Fine returned to the Justice Department in 1995 as special counsel to the Inspector General and director of special investigations and review.


In 2000, Fine was named Inspector General at the DOJ. Among his achievements there was his documentation of the George W. Bush administration firings of four U.S. Attorneys for partisan reasons and its packing of the Civil Rights Division with political appointees instead of civil service employees. His office also investigated the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s handling of Zacarias Moussaoui, who had enrolled in a flight school as part of the 9/11 terror plot. FBI headquarters had discouraged the office in Minneapolis, where Moussaoui was arrested, from getting a search warrant that might have turned up information that could have prevented the attacks. Fine’s office was highly critical of the bureau for not taking the threat posed by Moussaoui seriously.


Fine left the Justice Department in 2011 and both The New York Times and Washington Post wrote editorials at that time praising his work. He became a partner at the firm of Dechert LLP, where he focused on white collar crime and securities litigation. Fine returned to government service in June 2015, joining the Defense Department as principal Deputy Inspector General.


Fine is married to Beth Heifetz, also an attorney and a former law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmon. Fine and Heifetz have a son and a daughter. Fine is a member of the Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.

-Steve Straehley


To Learn More:

Justice and the I.G. (New York Times)

A Fine Job (Washington Post)

Official Biography


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