Border of Arizona and Mexico

Gilbert M. Orrantia

Gilbert Orrantia

Director, Arizona Department of Homeland Security


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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 headed the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force in Phoenix, Arizona which is 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 FBI successful 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 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.

Mr. Orrantia, a native Arizonan who is fluent in Spanish, was raised in Mesa, Arizona. He graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in Secondary Education.