Patricia Villafranca, who recently retired after more than 28 years as an FBI Special Agent, will speak about “Modern Anti-Terrorism and Outreach to the US Muslim Community.” At the time of her retirement, she served as the Congressional Affairs and Community Outreach Coordinator for the Houston division of the FBI, working with Houston’s myriad civic, business and cultural organizations to create an environment in which law enforcement and the community communicated and collaborated. Under her leadership, the FBI Houston outreach office dramatically increased its efforts to educate the public and work with community leaders to confront and mitigate threats such as human trafficking, gang violence, terrorism, and economic espionage.
Prior to this assignment, she was assigned to the FBI Houston Joint Terrorism Task Force as part of the Counter Terrorism Intelligence Group (CTIG). CTIG was comprised of a small group of local, state, and federal law enforcement officers who provided high quality training and intelligence sharing services to small and medium sized police departments in a forty county area surrounding Houston, providing them with situational awareness regarding potential threats to the region. In 2004, the members of CTIG were recognized by then FBI Director Robert Mueller with the prestigious FBI Director’s Award for Excellence in Service to the Law Enforcement Community.
For over a dozen years during her career, Patricia was a leader in the FBI’s Evidence Response Team (ERT) program, serving in Boston and Houston as part of a highly trained FBI team that responded to violent crime scenes both nationally and internationally. As part of ERT, she played a role in many high profile investigations, including the bombing of the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the bombing of the Saudi Arabia National Guard/US Air Force facility in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the serial killings of young boys in the sugar cane fields of Tulua, Colombia and the assassination of Presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio in Mexico. She traveled frequently to provide hands-on crime scene training to police officers in Paraguay, Chile, Turkey, El Salvador, Costa Rica, and Mexico.
She continues to be a passionate advocate for programs that foster a sense of common purpose between law enforcement and the communities they serve.