Director of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service: Who Is James B. Burch?

Sunday, September 14, 2014

James B. Burch was named the Department of Defense’s deputy inspector general for investigations on June 22, 2009, putting him in charge of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the agency responsible for investigating fraud, bribery and corruption among Defense Department employees and contractors and stops the transfer of sensitive technology to unfriendly nations.


Burch is from Birmingham, Alabama, where his father, Bill Burch was the basketball coach at Birmingham Southern University for 16 years. Burch played basketball for his father, and became a high school teacher and coach after earning a B.A. in 1973.


Burch joined the Secret Service in 1980 and served 27 years there. His last post was as special agent in charge of the Washington Field Office, where he managed all criminal investigations and protective responsibilities handled by the Service in the Capital area. Prior to that, Burch had been deputy assistant director in the Secret Service’s Office of Investigations. One of the major cases handled by his office was the investigation of North Korea’s counterfeiting of $100 bills in the mid-2000s.


In October 2007, Burch joined the State Department as its assistant inspector general for investigations. He established Middle East offices in Amman, Jordan and Cairo, Egypt as well as a presence in Baghdad, Iraq, to cope with the influx of Americans in that region.


Burch's wife, Therese, was a member of President George W. Bush's advance team during both his terms and currently is a partner in BB&R Wellness, a consulting firm also partly owned by Bush's sister, Doro Bush Koch.

-Steve Straehley


To Learn More:

Official Biography

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jim hatfield 5 years ago
watching bush events. thinking of you and your service
True Tragedy 9 years ago
What was once a premiere law enforcment agency, has been decimated by Burch, and for what reason, another retirment check? DCIS has a fantastic mission with dedicated, hard working employees, yet Burch is allowed to remain in his position at the expense of an entire agency. It is truly amazing this DoD IG will allow this individual to remain in his position one more day, while he continues to destroy this agency.
Joe 9 years ago
Senior agent 3, look at the fedview survey, you are an imposter or delusional
Senior Agent #3 9 years ago
I'm also a senior DCIS field agent with many years of law enforcement experience. To any aspiring DCIS agents out there who happen to view this site, I have this to say: take the negativity with a grain of salt. Momma always said, "Energy vampires love to blog. Most happy people are too busy being happy." I guess my point is - not all of us share the views of my counterparts. Many of us think DCIS is a fantastic place to work. One of the best LEOs in the federal government. Are we perfect? Of course not. But show me an agency that is. For the record, I have never worked with a group of agents (small, medium, or large agencies) who didn't criticize their leaders. The saying, "It's lonely at the top" is definitely applicable to law enforcement. I would imagine running an agency isn't easy. Until I've walked a mile in their shoes, I think I'll take the high road.
NYPD Vet 9 years ago
Im a retired NYC detective - 8 years military and 27 years police service - 20+ years on the street before I got my detective shield. Now I'm retired down south in VA (an out of place Yankee). Gotta say - I get a kick out of hearing these new-age Feds complaints. When I was active, we complained about not getting a day off for a month straight, getting shot at in alleys, not getting to see our kids grow up, and running out of ammo and basic supplies - and of course, the rats running around in the building roof rafters. Of course, we also complained about leaders. Everyone does that. But we complained to each other. We'd never air our internal laundry in public because that would be wrong. Well I guess times have changed. These guys are complaining about their bosses not "advocating", being "in the weeds", "reduced communication", and late award money ("boo hoo"). What's next... "daddy didn't hug me enough"? Well... Waah! If these are what you call "problems " then believe me fellas - you ain't got none. Maybe Im just getting old and crotchety, but In my experience, complaints like these reflect more on the authors than the people being criticized.
Sorry, Another Agency 9 years ago
I'm sorry, Another Agency. You are at an agency with over 1000 agents. In that size agency, you are right, the suits' don't impact you all that much. In DCIS, they impact us a lot. SES in a big agency work on big stuff, they don't get down in the weeds. Ours do. You are right that the first level supervisor has more impact on us, and in DCIS that's the only reason most of us stay around, because our first level supervisors take the BS and try to let us do our jobs. But they can't even get to know the cases we have because they spend more time preparing reviews than overseeing cases. Try working someplace where the top-down guidance is to do nothing that might attract attention, don't act like a real law enforcement officer, and interpret your jurisdiction as narrowly as possible. Or where your front office does nothing to advocate for the agency, and would prefer nobody else knew who you were. And you either got a faulty view of or logistics situation or happened to find a very luck field office. We can't even put lights on our cars or keep our agents in unexpired body armor.
Another Agency 9 years ago
I'm 1811 with another agency. I've worked with three federal agencies in the past 22 years. All large federal agencies with 1,000 plus agents. Before that, I was a detective with a local PD. I've worked alongside DCIS on many occassions and one of my good friends is a DCIS agent. Great mission. I am very familiar with their work. I stumbled across this website when I was doing some research on DCIS. I saw they had some GS-14 and 15 vacancies recently. Mostly good people at DCIS from what I've seen and I've enjoyed working with them. But goodness, for some reason, they tend to be a DRAMATIC bunch ("wave of destruction..."??? Good lord!), especially when they discuss the leadership. I never really "got" this. When I've asked the DCIS guys to explain the issues that bother them they usually talk about the "administrative burden", how they can't take home a government car every night, how headquarters doesn't talk to the field enough, micro management, too many people at HQ, and how their leaders may close some offices. Not my intent to belittle the other people who posted to this site, but I have to say, it makes me chuckle. I kind of get the impression that some of these agents might not realize how good they have it. Probably not be their fault. Some of them have probably worked for DCIS for so long. They forget that all agencies face these same kinds of issues - and MUCH, MUCH worse. Most of the challenges DCIS agents typically talk about when they complain to me wouldn't make my agency's top ten list. I guess everything comes down to perspective. In my book, these DCIS guys have it pretty darn good. From what I've seen, Most of their agents have never worked in more than one location. They go home to their wives and kids at night. They work in nice offices, and they arent forced to work crazy hours. They seem fairly well equipped (computers, gear, etc.) compared to other agencies. Six figure salaries (all GS-13s???). They get to work great cases. They even get to TELEWORK! I've worked for leaders who transfer agents on a yearly basis - just because they can. I've been around law enforcement a long time. Have worked for leaders who forbid agents from taking home cars (not allowed, ever) just because they can! I've worked for leaders who insist you work 15 hour days, to include weekends, and report back at 6 am for your next shift - if you refuse, you're not a "team player" and you're looked down upon. I've worked for leaders who have closed offices with only a couple months notice with no explanation, and told everyone they will report to Los Angeles, Detroit, or NYC, no other options (except one: resign). I've worked for leaders who force the agents to travel on long TDYs to very dangerous locations with no thought whatsoever to the duration, or their families' wellbeing or the agent's safety. Hell, one leader actually told me "We own you, kid. Get used to it" Again, I don't mean to belittle the agents who posted to this website - but given what I know about the agency, I'd happily transfer to DCIS. I don't know this Burch guy or any other DCIS senior leader types. I assume it is just like every other agency -- some good people at HQ, some bad. But what I've learned over the years is: these jobs are what you make of them. No more, no less. Its easy to blame the top honchos but in reality most field agents' lives are impacted more by their local managers than the HQ suits that they may run across every few years. Just my opinion.
Senior Agent # 2 9 years ago
I have been in Federal Law Enforcement for 27 years and have never seen a more Incompetent, Morale Killing, Anti-Field, Paranoid bunch of alleged Leaders in my life. Mr. Burch is leading this wave of destruction of DCIS along with his entourage of “lackeys” and “yes-men.” DCIS was once a highly respectable Agency that quality and competent investigators flocked to – No Longer. If you are looking for a great 1811 career – Look Elsewhere! The DCIS men and women in the field are, for the most part, – Awesome! And we are acknowledged and congratulated by our HQs with “Office Closures,” Continuous Threats of Losing G-Cars, Threats of placing GPS Units on these G-Cars, and award monies that show up 8 months later in your checks. And all of these brilliant decisions have come from Mr. Burch and his Cronies! I must stop now & get my Time Sheet in 5 days early!
Afraid 9 years ago
This DIG and his Assistant Inspectors General have led a wholesale retreat from effective, modern and forwardthinking law enforcement, instead they favor micromanagement and isolation from the law enforcement community. That DCIS manages to conduct quality investigations shows the commitment of its agents to perservere despite their management.
Senior Agent 9 years ago
Burch has ruined what used to be the greatest law enforcement agency in the Government. I am a 20 plus year agent and have seen morale completely collapse. He fails to understand that the REAL work of any LEO agency happens in the field, not HQ. It seems like every other day we develop a new position at an already bloated headquarters, while the field gets brushed aside. Stop writing new policy and admin strangling, we are not a protection agency, we are an investigative agency. If congress only knew where we are now... Every field agent and supervisor feels this frustration.

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