ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Women serve in every one of the FBI’s 56 field offices today, but that wasn’t the case not too long ago. Special female agents from the Albany Field Office traveled to FBI headquarters earlier this week to attend the 50th anniversary of female special agents.  

On July 17, 1972, Joanne Pierce Misko and Susan Roley Malone began their special agent training course at the FBI academy in Quantico, Virginia. Fast forward to five decades later, these special agents reunited to mark 50 years since that historic day.

“We have come a long way in this organization,” said SAC Janeen DiGuiseppi, FBI Albany Field Office. Six current female special agents in charge joined in the celebration, including SAC Janeen DiGuiseppi. SAC DiGuiseppi has been with the agency for 23 years; and in her 2 decades, she has seen the organization evolve, getting bigger, better, and stronger with more female special agents along her side across the nation.

She said without a doubt, it’s important to have female special agents in the agency. “You’ll need the diversity whether it’s women African American, Asian, members of the LGBTIQ community– we need to reflect the communities we serve.”

All three Special Agents at the Albany Field Office called themselves fortunate to travel to the FBI headquarters and meet the senior female leadership. Special Agent Ellen Thurmer learned a lot during the trip. “It’s important get comfortable with being uncomfortable. That’s a major way to succeed in the agency. It seems like all of the women we spoke to got really comfortable being uncomfortable,” said SA Thurmer.

These women never thought they would be where they are today. They hope younger girls with the big aspirations will never lose sight of their mission and goals. “…Have confidence in themselves and take a chance on themselves because the worst thing would be to pull a resume or to not give yourself an opportunity to walk through the door when it’s open for you,” said Supervisory Special Agent (SSA) Samantha Baltzersen (Cyber). SAC DiGuiseppi added, “It’s not always going to be an easy path, but you need to focus on what your dream is and work through the hard times because it’s not always easy.” However, it’s for sure rewarding!