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New FBI Special Agent in Charge of the Cleveland Field Office is no stranger to Cleveland

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Posted at 2:32 PM, Feb 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-13 14:32:26-05

CLEVELAND — There is a new Special Agent in Charge of the Cleveland Field Office. Eric Smith was promoted to the job in early February.

He fills the position left by Stephen Anthony, who led the office for nearly eight years before retiring at the end of last year. “I have some big shoes to fill,” said Smith.

Smith has been an FBI agent for 20 years, first assigned to Kansas City and then the Counterterrorism Division at FBI Headquarters.

Three years later, he became supervisor of the counterterrorism squad and Joint Terrorism Task Force in Cleveland. After spending time in Bagram, Afghanistan, he returned to Cleveland until being selected as chief of staff for the FBI deputy director in Washington, D.C. and then moving to special assistant to the FBI Director.

Smith is an Ohio native, he grew up in London. “It’s a great joy to be back in my home state,” said Smith.

While meeting with members of the media Wednesday, Smith explained a writing assignment given by his seventh grade Ohio history teacher led to him down the path to becoming an FBI agent.
“I picked up this pamphlet about the FBI,” explained Smith. “It was like a lightning bolt hit me,” he said. From that moment on, he set his sights on becoming an FBI agent.

While leading the Cleveland office, Smith said, the focus will be process, partnership and predictive thinking.

Smith graduated from Eastern Kentucky University, received his master’s degree in homeland security studies from the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Homeland Defense and Security.
Before his FBI career, Mr. Smith served as an officer in the U.S. Army, primarily in airborne rapid deployment forces at Fort Bragg. He graduated from the U.S. Army Airborne School and the U.S. Army Ranger School. He served as a battalion intelligence officer, an airborne rifle platoon leader, a company executive officer and a company commander.