Omar R. Lopez became the sixth civilian Director of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) in June 2019. He leads the agency as it investigates and defeats threats from across the foreign intelligence, terrorist, and criminal spectrum by conducting operations and investigations ashore, afloat, and in cyberspace, to protect and preserve the superiority of Navy and Marine Corps warfighters.
Prior to his selection as Director, Mr. Lopez served as Executive Assistant Director for the NCIS National Security Directorate. He exercised program management and oversight over global counterterrorism and counterintelligence investigations and operations, including espionage, terrorism, compromise, technology transfer, cyber operations, threats to research, development, and acquisition programs; force protection activities, and insider threat programs. He served previously in leadership positions at NCIS Headquarters and field offices, both domestically and overseas. He has been recognized for developing innovative approaches in partnership with other Federal agencies, enabling NCIS to better support the Department of the Navy.
Mr. Lopez began his career with NCIS as a Special Agent in 2003, assigned to the Port Hueneme Resident Agency in California. He has worked 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.
Mr. 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 active duty, he worked for a law firm in Washington D.C., specializing in litigation and energy regulation. Mr. Lopez is a native of Los Angeles, California. 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.