Arlington, Virginia -- Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer on June 4 conducted the swearing-in ceremony of Omar Lopez as director of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS). He replaces Andrew Traver, who served as NCIS director for more than six years before retiring June 3.
Lopez most recently served as the NCIS executive assistant director for national security, where he exercised oversight over global terrorism and counterintelligence investigations and operations, including espionage; terrorism; compromise; technology transfer; virtual/cyber operations; threats to research, development, and acquisition programs; force protection; and insider threat programs. He served previously in leadership positions at NCIS headquarters and field offices, both domestically and overseas.
Lopez began his career with NCIS as a special agent in 2003, assigned to NCIS Resident Agency Port Hueneme, California. He has since served in a variety of roles across NCIS mission areas, including criminal drug operations, national security operations, and protective service operations, with special assignments to federal, state, and local task forces, including deployment with the Coalition Provisional Authority -- Iraq.
Lopez was commissioned in the Navy as a judge advocate in 1995. He served in active duty and reserve assignments with U.S. Naval Special Warfare Command, U.S. Pacific Command, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. He also served as a trial counsel and special assistant U.S. attorney in California. Following his active duty service, Lopez worked for a law firm in Washington, D.C., specializing in litigation and energy regulation.
Lopez is a native of Pico Rivera City, California, but also considers Hermosa, South Dakota, his home. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science with honors from California State University (Pomona). He also holds a Juris Doctor degree from Loyola Law School and practiced formerly in California and Washington, D.C.
NCIS is a federal law enforcement agency that investigates felony crime, prevents terrorism, and protects secrets for the U.S. Department of the Navy. NCIS employs approximately 2,000 personnel, including 1,000 federal special agents, in 191 locations around the world.