FBI Celebrates Anniversary of First Females Agents

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The FBI is celebrating its 45th anniversary of the first women agents of the modern FBI.

For you history buffs, there were two female FBI agents in 1924 when J. Edgar Hoover took over but they resigned within a few months as part of the Bureau’s reduction of force. Later that year, Hoover changed one agent’s status from special employee to agent. Another female agent would not be hired until 1972.

And St. Louis has a distinct connection. One of the first two female FBI agents had been a nun for a decade. After graduating from the academy,
Joanne Pierce Misko was assigned here to the St. Louis field office in the early 70’s. She was interviewed by the agency in 2012.

“In St. Louis I found the agents very accepting, and they just let me be an agent and do my work like anybody else. And that’s the way you prove yourself, by doing the job that you were sent to do,” she says.

25 years ago, Special Agent Karyn Feeney joined the U.S. Marshals service then the FBI. She says she had always been a James Bond fan and at 14 she wrote a paper about the drug trade and became passionate about combating it. There were some raised eyebrows then, and she says it’s still a male dominated field with women comprising only 20 percent of current agents.

“We are constantly needing to prove that we can do what our male counterparts can do, and we continue to do that, we have females as an executive system director, we have assistant directors and we have women running field offices here in the FBI,” she says.

Feeney says the FBI is accepting applications for the 2018 Summer Honors Internship Program for college students or the collegiate hiring initiative. The last day to apply for both programs is October 15, 2017.

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