Section Chief, FBI Cyber Division
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
Phil Celestini is a veteran Special Agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation who has served in a wide variety of field division and headquarters assignments. Mr. Celestini is currently assigned to the FBI’s Cyber Division, stationed at Fort Meade, Maryland as the Senior Executive FBI Liaison to the National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command.
Mr. Celestini received his Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Air Force Academy, and also holds a Master of Science in Public Safety Leadership. Prior to entering the FBI, Mr. Celestini served our nation in the United States Air Force as an Intelligence Operations Officer, followed by a brief career as Acting Director of Security at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia.
Mr. Celestini joined the FBI as a Special Agent in 1992. As a field agent he worked on all manner of criminal investigations including violent crime task forces, white-collar crime, public corruption, counterterrorism, WMD, and drug trafficking investigations. Mr. Celestini earned numerous commendations and community honors as a Special Agent, among them awards from the International Narcotic Enforcement Officers Association and being named “Federal Law Enforcement Officer of the Year” by the local chapter of Optimists International. He was a long-time FBI SWAT operator and team leader, and maintains dual certifications as a firearms and tactical instructor.
Following success in the field, Mr. Celestini was promoted and spent two years at headquarters as a national program manager in the Domestic Terrorism Operations Unit of the FBI Counterterrorism Division. Next, Mr. Celestini served with distinction while detailed at the White House from 2004 to 2006 as Director for Combating Terrorism, Crisis Response and Incident Management for the National Security Council (NSC).
Mr. Celestini’s other leadership assignments included postings in FBI Baltimore as supervisor of the Maryland Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) and Supervisory Senior Resident Agent responsible for criminal, cyber, and intelligence operations in suburban Washington, DC and western Maryland. He commanded FBI Baltimore’s Crisis Response Squad, responsible for the Bureau’s SWAT, Evidence Response, HAZMAT Response, and Bomb Technician teams covering the states of Maryland and Delaware. Most recently, he was Assistant Special Agent in Charge for FBI Birmingham Division, where he led the National Security and Intelligence Branch. While there he completely restructured the branch to counter modern nation-state threats to critical national security programs in northern Alabama, and received a citation from the Director for his aggressive use of counter-offensive operations in cyber, counterterrorism and counterintelligence investigations.
Mr. Celestini is a recipient of the FBI’s Intelligence Officer Certification and Joint Duty Certification, and is a distinguished graduate of the FBI Hazardous Devices School Executive Management Course. Consistently focused on innovation and collaboration, in 2013 Mr. Celestini was recognized with one of the FBI’s “Top 12 Knowledge Awards” for his pioneering application of technology platforms to improve on-demand information sharing in complex, multi-jurisdiction cases. Born and raised in a military family, Mr. Celestini has moved more than twenty times and is wary of calling anyplace home. He enjoys camping, hiking, and working on whatever car happens to be in his driveway.