James A. Gagliano

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James A. Gagliano (born January 30, 1965) is an American retired FBI Supervisory Special Agent and CNN law enforcement analyst. [1] He is an adjunct assistant professor at St. John's University, [2] as well as an opinion writer, author, keynote speaker, member of the Board of Directors for the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund (LELDF), [3] [4] and an elected Trustee in the Village of Cornwall-on-Hudson, New York. [5]


Early Life and Education

Gagliano was born to Dr. Ross Andrew Gagliano [6] and Dorothy Ann Gagliano in Fort Ord, California, spending his formative years in Decatur, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta. He attended Columbia Elementary School and graduated from Southwest DeKalb High School in DeKalb County, Georgia in 1983. He has two younger siblings.

Gagliano holds a Bachelor of Science degree, with Military History concentration, graduating from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1987. He was commissioned as an Infantry Officer in the United States Army, serving as a Light Infantry Platoon Leader and Company Executive Officer in the 2nd Brigade of the 10th Mountain Division, while stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia, and Fort Drum, New York during the Cold War.

In January 2017, Gagliano earned a Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Homeland Security and Criminal Justice Leadership [7] from St. John's University in Jamaica, Queens.

Gagliano is currently a Doctoral Candidate in Homeland Security (DPS) [8] at St. John's University.


Gagliano received an Honorable Discharge in 1991 from the United States Army after fulfilling his military service obligation and entered the FBI, where he served for 25 years, [9] working on organized crime, [10] narcotics, and money laundering investigations in New York City before being selected for the FBI's elite counter-terror unit, the Hostage Rescue Team (HRT), [11] located in Quantico, Virginia, in 1997. [12] Returning to New York in 2001, he served in a myriad of agency positions, working undercover, [13] serving as the FBI New York Office's Senior SWAT Team Leader, and deploying to combat theater in Afghanistan as an FBI “embed” with JSOC units during parts of 2002 and 2003, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He served as Crisis Management Coordinator in New York before being appointed the Supervisory Senior Resident Agent (SSRA) of the FBI's Hudson Valley Resident Agency in 2008, where he formed and led the successful federal Hudson Valley Safe Streets Task Force (HVSSTF) [14] that combated violent street gangs and drug trafficking organizations in upstate New York [15] until 2012.

Gagliano was then chosen to attend Spanish language training at the U.S. Department of State's Foreign Service Institute (FSI) before being assigned to the United States Embassy in México City as a Deputy Legal Attaché [16] and Acting Legal Attaché, serving as the FBI director's direct representative to Mexican law enforcement during 2013 and 2014.

In January 2015, Gagliano was appointed Special Assistant to the Assistant-Director-in-Charge for the FBI's largest field office in New York, which includes 2,400 employees and oversees all FBI operations within five boroughs of New York City, eight upstate counties, as well as the La Guardia, John F. Kennedy International, and Stewart International airports. Retiring in January of 2016, he began teaching undergraduate courses in Homeland Security, American Military History, and Criminal Justice at St. John's University before joining CNN as one of the network's law enforcement analysts [17] in May 2017. [18]

Gagliano regularly contributes columns for CNN Opinion [19] and The Washington Examiner, [20] and his work has also been featured in top tier publications such as The New York Daily News, [21] New York Post, [22] Fortune Magazine, [23] NY Times, [24] Long Island Newsday, [25] Newsweek, [26] Just Security, [27] Havok Journal, [28] Daily Caller, Newsmax, [29] and The Hill. [30] [31] [32] [33] He has also been featured in several scholarly books on ‘Leadership’ such as “In Extremis Leadership”, and “Leadership Lessons from West Point” and was the subject of a September 2011 issue of New York Magazine, in a story entitled “Welcome to Newburgh, Murder Capital of New York: Can FBI Agent James Gagliano Make Newburgh Safe?”. [34]

Gagliano also serves as a Keynote Speaker, frequently with the Thayer Leader Development Group (TLDG). [35] And in March of 2020, he was appointed a member of the Board of Directors of the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund (LELDF), a nonprofit organization committed to defending the noble law enforcement profession and its honorable practitioners since 1994. He is also a member of the FBI Agents Association (FBIAA), the Society of Former Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (SFSAFBI), the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA), and the Hostage Rescue Team Association (HRTA).

Volunteer work

Gagliano spent many years as a volunteer youth basketball coach and mentor to inner-city children [36] beginning at St. Mary's R.C. Church with the Newburgh Zion Lions program, [37] and later at the Boys and Girls Club [38] in Newburgh, New York. NBC New York highlighted his positive community engagement there in a televised feature in March 2011, entitled "FBI Agent Helping to 'Save' Children of Newburgh." [39] In 2010, he was instrumental in the creation of the inaugural Saturday morning youth basketball program at the Newburgh Armory Unity Center, [40] a vibrant community center that serves the recreational and academic assistance needs of local children. He now spends time volunteering for the Hudson Valley, New York chapter of Girls on the Run. [41]

Awards and Recognition

Gagliano's military awards include the Airborne, Air Assault, Jungle Expert, and Expert Infantryman's badges, as well as the Ranger tab. He was awarded the FBI's Medal for Bravery, the FBI's second-highest award for valor, for team actions in June 1993 while serving with FBI SWAT in New York City on a terror-related arrest. [42]

In 2010, Gagliano and his federal task force received the “True American Hero” award from the Federal Drug Agents Foundation (FDAF) [43] for multiple high-profile investigations of violent street gangs. Hudson Valley Magazine selected Gagliano as one of its “People to Watch 2012.” [44] And in 2016, St. John's University faculty and students within the College of Professional Studies Homeland Security Association awarded him the Homeland Security Distinguished Service Award.

Personal life

Gagliano is married to Tiffany N. Gagliano, Esq., Dean of the School of Business at Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, New York. [45] They share five children between them.

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Online articles [46] [47] [48] [49] [50] [51] [52] [53] [54] [55] [56]





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  56. Gagliano, James. "I'm 6'3" with tattoo sleeves and a shaved head -- and I have a #MeToo story". CNN. Retrieved 2020-03-23.