Yesterday, Buckhead attorney Christopher Wray made headlines after being overwhelmingly confirmed by the United States Senate as the next director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in a 92 to 5 vote. His term as Director will be for ten years, guaranteed to span at least two presidential administrations. The name may ring a bell as Wray has had an illustrious career in Atlanta, most recently as a partner at King & Spalding law firm, where he has worked since 1993.
A resident of Buckheads’ Brandon neighborhood, Wray has deep ties to our community and plans to keep his home here. “I’ve been cutting his hair for 20 years,” muses Tommy down at Tommy’s Barber Shop. “You could not find a smarter or more principled guy than Christopher to run the FBI. He will do what is right, no matter what. No one will push him around.” As Tommy and I were talking in his busy shop, the TV in the corner that was tuned to CNN flashed a headline about Wray; “Look at him” said Tommy, “That’s one good haircut I gave him. He promised to be back here every two weeks for a trim. We sure are proud of him.”
Wray’s wife is Helen Wray, formerly Helen Howell, a family that has ties to Atlanta that run over seven generations deep. In an interview with the Buckhead Historical Society, Helen Wray’s father, Henry Howell, states that the original name for Howell Mill Road originates from their family, who once owned 4,000 acres of land in the area.
The family also has deep roots at The Westminster Schools in Buckhead. Helen Wray, and their two children (Caroline and Trip) all graduated from Westminster, as did Helens’ father.
Wray is being hailed as a candidate with impressive credentials to take on the leadership of the FBI; “I will never allow the FBI’s work to be driven by anything other than the facts, the law and the impartial pursuit of justice,” Wray said during his confirmation hearings. “My loyalty is to the Constitution and to the rule of law.”
In 2001, Wray was tapped to lead as an assistant United States Attorney General in Atlanta, where he worked on counter-terrorism, drug trafficking and aiding in the Timothy McVeigh case, wherein the F.B.I misplaced critical files related to the Oklahoma City bombing. For the next two years, Wray served the Justice Department and the American people until returning to Atlanta in 2005 to continue work at King & Spalding. According to his King & Spalding bio, Wray earned the Edmund J. Randolph Award at the end of his service on the Department of Justice, which the Department awards for outstanding public service and leadership.
We wish Wray the best of luck in running one of the most important government agencies in the world. We know he will represent his country (and Buckhead) well as leader of the F.B.I..