Kevin Brock, former head of the FBI’s intelligence branch, dies at 69

Brock’s long FBI career spanned an important era of U.S. history marked by efforts to protect the country from terrorism.

Former FBI Assistant Director Kevin Brock, who helped reshape the bureau's intelligence gathering capabilities in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terror attacks and more recently sounded the alarm about America's weakened border security, has died after a years-long battle with cancer. He was 69.

Brock, a frequent guest on Just the News television and podcast shows and widely respected among current and retired agents, died Monday, according to an obituary from his family.

Brock rose to the top echelons of leadership inside the bureau in an era when the agency began to direct its focus towards the threat of Islamic terrorism in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and was influential in the development of the bureau’s counterterrorism policies.

After his stint as the first Director for Intelligence for the FBI, Brock became the first Principle Deputy Director of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), the agency dedicated to coordinating government-wide counterterrorism policies.

Brock passed away shortly after midnight on April 15 surrounded by family. He is survived by his his wife and his eight children, according to his obituary.

To an outside observer, Brock’s choice of career appears to be the natural progression of his family circumstances. He was born in 1954 to two FBI professionals: his father, James Richard Brock, was an FBI agent and his mother, Madeline (Callahan) Brock, was an FBI stenographer.

After his own marriage and birth of his first son, Brock became an FBI Special Agent. He served across the country, in Albuquerque, New Mexico; Los Angeles, California; Washington, D.C.; Seattle and Tacoma, Washington, and as a Special Agent in Charge in Detroit, Michigan.

Then, in March 2001, Brock was selected to be a Special Assistant to the FBI Deputy Director, just months before the September 11 terrorist attacks.

His experiences at the bureau headquarters in the aftermath of the attacks would shape the rest of his career, leading to his appointments as the Director for Intelligence at the FBI and his role at the NCTC.

When he retired from the NCTC in 2007, Brock moved into the private sector and eventually opened his own consulting company, NewStreet Global Solutions.

After his government service, Brock was inspired to work to better the two major institutions important in his life, the FBI and the Catholic Church, according to his obituary. This inspired Brock to engage in the news media to comment about the FBI drawing on his years of experience.

“His love for the FBI and the Catholic Church inspired his efforts to improve both institutions, the former via a series of articles and media appearances and the latter by investigating corruption and helping to bring justice for victims of abuse,” his obituary reads.

Most recently, in January, Brock organized and cosigned a letter with nine other former FBI officials that was sent to Senate and House leadership. It warned of the “pernicious” threat the immigration crisis and open Southern border posed to the country.

“In its modern history the U.S. has never suffered an invasion of the homeland and, yet, one is unfolding now,” the former FBI officials wrote.

“Military aged men from across the globe, many from countries or regions not friendly to the United States, are landing in waves on our soil by the thousands - not by splashing ashore from a ship or parachuting from a plane but rather by foot across a border that has been accurately advertised around the world as largely unprotected with ready access granted,” they added.

As Just the News reported in January, Brock helped organize the letter and said it reflected concerns from a larger body of both current and former FBI agents and officials.

Even after leaving the bureau, Brock was dedicated to holding the FBI to the highest standards, but also defended the organization in the face of mischaracterizations. Overall, he was an advocate for impartiality and professionalism at the bureau and insisted FBI leadership had a duty to avoid even the appearance of partisanship.

In August 2022, Brock wrote an op-ed in The Hill calling out “mischaracterizations” from both the political left and right about the bureau. He argued individual agents or officials should be judged by their actions, but that the whole bureau should not be characterized by them. But, he also argued FBI leadership should do a better job to avoid even the appearance of partiality, writing in the wake of the Mar-a-Lago search which angered many conservatives.

“Anyone in the FBI who witnesses decisions or orders driven by political considerations over objective justice must come forward and speak up immediately. It’s the right thing to do,” he wrote.

Outside of his FBI career and media commentary, Brock was deeply involved in family life and his local Catholic Church, where he served as a lector and with a prison ministry.

“While his family and friends are saddened by his death, we are comforted by his immense faith in the Risen Lord that we will be reunited with him one day in heaven,” his obituary reads.