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Press Release

Attorney General William P. Barr Names Michael Carvajal Director of the Bureau of Prisons

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

Attorney General William P. Barr today announced that Michael Carvajal will serve as the Director of the Bureau of Prisons (BOP).  Current BOP Director Dr. Kathleen Hawk Sawyer will remain as a Senior Advisor to assist him with the transition.

“Today, I am appointing Michael Carvajal Director of the Bureau of Prisons.  Michael’s nearly 30 years of experience with the Bureau will serve him exceptionally well as he takes on these new responsibilities, and I am confident he will do an outstanding job as director.  I want to thank Kathy Hawk Sawyer for her exceptional leadership and helping us identify a highly qualified individual to serve as permanent director.  I am grateful for Kathy’s service and that she has agreed to stay on as a senior advisor to assist the Bureau with this transition.”

Carvajal, a U.S. Army veteran, began his employment with the Bureau of Prisons in 1992 as a correctional officer.  Since then, he took on positions of increasing responsibility for the Bureau, including Employee Development Specialist and Lieutenant at FCI Three Rivers; Captain at FCI Texarkana (TX) and USP Leavenworth (KS); Correctional Services Administrator for the South Central Region (TX); and Associate Warden at FCC Beaumont.  He also served as Warden at FCI Texarkana (TX), and Complex Warden for FCC Pollock (LA), before being promoted to Regional Director for the Northeast Region in July 2016.

As Assistant Director for Correctional Programs since August of 2018, Carvajal was responsible for a wide variety of areas, including designations and sentence computation, the Witness Security and Victim-Witness Programs, security and emergency planning, inmate transportation, and unit and case management operations, and the agency's intelligence efforts that require coordination with law enforcement and counter terrorism agencies around the country.


The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice.  Learn more about the history of our agency at

Updated February 25, 2020

Office and Personnel Updates
Press Release Number: 20-227