John G. Perren

Headshot of John Perren in dark suit, white shirt, tie with U.S. flag behind him
Former Assistant Director of the WMD Directorate, FBI; Faculty member, Homeland Security Program
[email protected]

Areas of Expertise

  • Law enforcement
  • National security

Mr. Perren has 44 years of law enforcement and national security experience, including: 

  • Serving as the Assistant Director for the FBI’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate; 
  • Being the FBI’s Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Program with the responsibility to prevent and respond to all terrorism and weapon of mass destruction incidents in the National Capitol Region;
  • Leading charge of the FBI’s rapid deployment teams for the Middle East. 

Prior to his appointment to the FBI in 1987, Mr. Perren was a 14-year member of the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, D.C., working as a patrol officer, undercover officer and detective. 

Mr. Perren is also an Adjunct Professor with George Washington University, College of Professional Studies Master’s Program in Homeland Security where he teaches intelligence/ strategic analysis and emergency management / crisis communication.

Mr. Perren entered on duty as a Special Agent of the FBI in March 1987 and was promoted to Supervisory Special Agent of the Domestic Terrorism Operations Unit, counterterrorism and Planning Section at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C. in 1997.

Beginning in 1999, he served as JTTF supervisor at the Washington Field Office before being promoted to Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Washington Field Office's counterterrorism Branch II in 2001.

Mr. Perren was one of three On-Scene Commanders at the Pentagon following 9/11, with the responsibility to preserve the crime scene, coordinate recovery efforts with special military units within the impact area and ensure the safety of personnel at the scene.

From January 2005 to June 2005 he was the On-Scene Commander for FBI Field Operations throughout Iraq in support of DOD mission. In July 2005, Mr. Perren was promoted to Section Chief of the WMD/Domestic Terrorism Operations Section in the counterterrorism Division, which provided national program management and support to detect, deter, and defeat acts of domestic terrorism, as well as the actual or threatened use of WMD.

In January 2008, Mr. Perren was appointed as Special Agent In Charge (SAC), Washington Field Office, counterterrorism Division. In December 2010, John was named Deputy Assistant Director of Criminal Division at FBI headquarters. In February 2012, the FBI selected him as the Assistant Director of the WMD Directorate. 


  • Bachelor’s degree in Criminology, American University
  • Master's degree in Criminology with a leadership emphasis in Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Classes Taught

  • Emergency Management and Crisis Communication
  • Intelligence and Strategic Analysis