FBI Director Christopher Wray: Fighting Crime in the 21st Century

Following a full day of hearing court cases on SHSU’s campus, LEAP students moved their roving classroom to TAMU’s Bush School, where they attended a presentation by FBI Director Chris Wray, a program sponsored jointly by the World Affairs Council and the Bush School at TAMU.

Director Wray offered an interesting tour of the foremost threats to United States safety. According to Wray, the top threats to the United States are China, Iran, Russia, and terrorism, both foreign and domestic. Notably, Wray highlighted the fact that a key to all of these threats is understanding the potential for cybercrime.

This is a double-edged sword, because just as technology allows the “bad guys” more opportunities to hide money (primarily through cryptocurrency), it also offers “more ways to fight the crime.” In short, much of the FBI’s job is trying to maintain technological superiority over people with malignant intentions.

Another focus of the FBI, according to the Director, is the spike in crime in large US cities, as well as the key role that Fentanyl plays in 21st-century crime. Such discussions support the LEAP Center’s mission to show the interconnectedness of things, inasmuch as students will be seeing journalist Ioan Grillo discuss crime and Fentanyl in a World Affairs Council event in a couple of weeks.

Following the event, students had a chance to meet former Director of Counterintelligence for the CIA, Jim Olson, who has been a good friend to LEAP students over the years.

It was a long day, in a busy string of weeks, but it is the type of activity that shows the scaffolding approach to education taken by the LEAP Center. In an eight-day period, LEAP students got to see–and experience–the world, including (1) assisting immigrants with passing the Naturalization Exam in their “Citizenship Preparatory Course,” (2) hearing from the FBI Director, (3) learning from the CIA Director, and (4) attending the 10th Court of Appeals hearings.

Seeing the world through the eyes of others, is a great way to learn, and LEAP students are learning much!

Author: mikeyawn

Mike Yawn teaches at Sam Houston State University. In the past few years, he has taught courses on Politics & Film, Public Policy, the Presidency, Media & Politics, Congress, Statistics, Research & Writing, Field Research, and Public Opinion. He has published academic papers in the Journal of Politics, Political Behavior, Social Security Quarterly, Film & History, American Politics Review, and contributed a chapter to the textbook Politics and Film. He also contributes columns, news analysis, and news stories to newspapers such as the Houston Chronicle, San Antonio Express News, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Stamford Advocate, Greenwich Time, Huron Daily Tribune, Laredo Morning Times, Beaumont Enterprise, Connecticut Post, and Midland Reporter Telegram. Yawn is also active in his local community, serving on the board of directors of the local YMCA and Friends of the Wynne. Previously, he served on the Huntsville's Promise and Stan Musial World Series Boards of Directors. In 2007-2008, Yawn was one of eight scholars across the nation named as a Carnegie Civic Engagement Scholar by the Carnegie Foundation.

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