FBI hires first chief human resources officer

Donald Packham, a senior human resources official at BP, formerly British Petroleum, started his new job yesterday as the FBI’s first chief human resources officer, bureau officials said.

“A strong human capital program is essential to our ability to address current and future threats,” FBI Director Robert Mueller said in a statement. He added that Packham “has the human resources and leadership experience we need to meet our human resources challenges.”

Packham's arrival comes the week after the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) released a report criticizing the FBI for lacking adequate IT capabilities to meet its hiring and training needs.

One of NAPA's recommendations was for the FBI to hire a chief human resources officer.

Packham spent 21 years at BP, rising to senior vice president of human resources for the Americas. In that capacity, he supervised HR functions for 50,000 employees in 50 business units in North and South America, the FBI said.

Before that, Packham was in charge of HR issues for BP’s purchase of ARCO Gas and was HR chief for the corporation’s global exploration and production sector, the bureau said.

Respected in the academic community, Packham has published many articles and served on the steering committee of the Human Resources Policy Institute at Boston University, the FBI said.

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