Human Rights & Freedom
Gilbert Orrantia became the Director of the Arizona Department of Homeland Security in June, 2009. Prior to heading Arizona’s Homeland Security efforts at the State, he served in the FBI for 26 years.
Mr. Orrantia brings a national and global perspective on counterterrorism that is gained from vast counterterrorism experience including the supervision of an FBI counterterrorism squad in Phoenix and serving eight years as a Supervisory Special Agent. For four years he helped lead the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force in Phoenix, Arizona located at Arizona’s fusion center, known as the Arizona Counter Terrorism Information Center (ACTIC).
Recognized as an expert in investigations of terrorism, drugs and violent crimes, Mr. Orrantia’s successful FBI law enforcement career is reflected in the numerous awards and commendations he received. Among them are two of the FBI’s highest commendations: the Medal of Valor and the FBI Star. These awards were made to Mr. Orrantia for his role in the deadliest firefight in FBI history;- a gun battle known as the “Miami Shootout” in which two fellow FBI agents were killed.
Mr. Orrantia has lectured to members of the FBI Academy at Quantico, Virginia on officer safety and survival and continues to share his expertise in surviving a deadly encounter with numerous law enforcement agencies.
Director Orrantia currently serves on the Executive Committee of the National Governors Association Homeland Security Advisors Council and also serves as a Tri-Chair of the National Homeland Security Consortium.
In April of 2013, he was appointed by Governor Jan Brewer to serve as Co-Chair of the Governor’s Task Force on Human Trafficking.
Mr. Orrantia, a native Arizonan who is fluent in Spanish, was raised in Mesa, Arizona. He is a graduate of Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education.