Rob Wainwright was born in 1967 in Carmarthen, Wales, UK.
Having graduated in 1989 from the London School of Economics, University of London with a BSc, he worked for the following ten years as an intelligence analyst in the UK in the fields of counter-terrorism and organised crime.
Between 2000 and 2003, Mr Wainwright was the Head of the UK Liaison Bureau at Europol, and also responsible for the Europol National Unit in London. The Liaison Bureaux are a key link in Europol’s cooperation with the EU Member States.
In 2003, he was promoted to the position of Director International of the National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS), where he was responsible for its international operations and for developing and implementing the UK strategy against facilitated illegal immigration. He also managed the UK’s National Central Bureau for Interpol and its Europol National Unit.
Between 2006 and 2009, he was Chief of the International Department of the UK Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA). In this leading role, he oversaw 20,000 law enforcement cases each year as well as establishing the international strategy and operational capabilities of the newly formed agency. His mandate extended from SOCA’s international operations and global partnerships to the worldwide network of SOCA liaison officers and the national bureaux for Interpol and Europol.
Mr Wainwright was appointed Director of Europol in April 2009. He was reappointed for a second term in 2013, having overseen Europol’s transition from intergovernmental organisation to EU agency status in 2010, ensured Europol’s pivotal position in the new EU Policy Cycle for serious and organised crime from 2011, and secured the establishment of the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) at Europol in 2013. Under his command Europol has also established the new European Counter Terrorism Centre and European Migrant Smuggling Centre, both in 2016.
Mr Wainwright’s main priorities as Director have been to focus Europol’s efforts on operational impact in priority crime areas while achieving savings in running costs. During his tenure, the number of cases initiated at Europol has more than tripled, to around 40,000 in 2015, and Europol has significantly strengthened its portfolio of operational support tools and services.
Mr Wainwright has twice chaired the World Economic Forum’s ‘Global Agenda Council on Organised Crime’ and was on the steering board of its ‘Partnering for Cyber Resilience’ project.
Rob Wainwright is married with three children. He speaks English, Welsh and Spanish and his interests include history and literature.