Coleen Rowley began her career with the FBI in Nebraska and Mississippi, relocating to New York City in 1984. Following the September 11 terrorist attacks, Rowley told the FBI director how personnel failed to respond to information regarding Zacarias Moussaoui. As a result, the director created a new Office of Intelligence at the FBI with a focus on counterterrorism.
Former Federal Bureau of Investigation agent, whistleblower, politician. Born December 20, 1954, into a military family. Coleen Rowley received her bachelor's degree in French from Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, and her law degree from the University of Iowa. She began her career with the FBI in Nebraska and Mississippi, relocating to New York City in 1984 to investigate organized crime. In 1990, she served as chief legal adviser to the bureau's Minneapolis office.
Following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Rowley submitted a document to FBI Director Robert Mueller stating how personnel at D.C. headquarters failed to respond to information provided by the Minneapolis field office regarding suspected terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui. In the following months, Mueller acknowledged that the attacks might have been prevented had FBI headquarters followed through on the tips. Mueller then created a new Office of Intelligence at the FBI with a focus on counterterrorism.
Rowley retired from the FBI in 2004. In 2006, she made a bid for the U.S. House of Representatives from Minnesota but lost to Republican incumbent John Kline.