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Report: Gov. Justice appoints Mark Sorsaia as Secretary of Dept. of Homeland Security

Career FBI agent-attorney named DMAPS agency head


Dec. 30, 2019

Career FBI agent-attorney named DMAPS agency head


CHARLESTON, W.Va. – She helped advise and lead FBI operations in New York, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco, and now oversees the newest agency within the W.Va. Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety.


Jennifer Wilson was appointed director of the Division of Administrative Services by DMAPS Secretary Jeff Sandy earlier this month. Administrative Services was created in 2018 alongside the Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation, which consolidated West Virginia’s prison, jail and juvenile services systems. Wilson had been serving as acting director since late September.


“I am honored to be named the director of DAS,” Wilson said. “Over the last 60 days, as the acting director, I have been impressed with the leadership team here and the employees’ dedication and commitment to the success of the newest division of the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety. I plan to focus the next year on completing the staffing and developing more efficient systems to serve the DMAPS agencies.”


After practicing law in Cabell County as both a public defender and prosecutor, Wilson joined the FBI in 1997. Her resulting career took her to: San Francisco, where she rose to supervisory special agent chief division counsel; Washington, D.C., where she was supervisory special agent assistant general counsel at FBI Headquarters; and New York, where she led an eight-lawyer legal division while advising the executive management of the FBI’s 2,200 special agents and employees there.


Wilson completed her FBI tenure in Pittsburgh, as special agent task force coordinator that brought her back to West Virginia via a multiagency federal investigation targeting drug trafficking in the region. Her expertise at the FBI also extended to violent crime, gang, and international terrorism investigations. She retired last year, joining DMAPS legal team soon afterward.


Sandy, himself a retired U.S. Treasury special agent, had become aware of Wilson’s interest in continuing public service. She began as a part-time deputy general counsel, working with multiple DMAPS agencies included the State Fire Marshal’s Office, the Capitol Police, and the W.Va. Intelligence Fusion Center. Her duties eventually expanded to full-time, and she began helping Administrative Services with personnel issues and legislative proposals.


“When the director positions at DAS came open, we again reached out to Wilson,” Sandy said. “During her acting assignment, Wilson has strengthened DAS relationships with all internal and external partners.”


Administrative Services allows the leaders of Corrections and Rehabilitation as well as other DMAPS agencies to focus on their core missions. Inspired by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Bureau of Fiscal Services in Parkersburg, DAS handles the array of functions common to state agencies including human resources, payroll, recruiting, contracts and procurement, and vehicle and property management. Administrative Services hopes to become a model for effective streamlining across state government.



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LAWRENCE MESSINA (304) 957-2515 Lawrence.C.Messina@wv.gov