Michael McKinney ’86
As an FBI agent for nearly 25 years, Michael McKinney directly planned and participated in over 50 undercover investigations that involved corruption, fraud, counterintelligence, drugs and violent crimes. With a degree in accounting and business administration, however, the FBI was not McKinney’s first career choice. Shortly after graduation, he took a position as a bank manager in Dublin, but after five years, he decided to take his career in a very different direction and applied to the FBI. At 23, he met the minimum age requirement and was one of the younger applicants (28-30 years old is the average age). During his tenure with the agency, he was based in Buffalo, Washington, D.C., and Atlanta, but he participated in and managed cases in cities across the country, including San Francisco, New Orleans, Chicago and Memphis. Some undercover cases lasted a month, others a year or more. The longest case — taking three years to complete — took place in Memphis. McKinney supervised an undercover operation that ended with the arrest of seven state lawmakers for accepting bribes. For his role in Operation Tennessee Waltz, he received the Director’s Award for Excellence in Criminal Investigations, one of the highest honors in the FBI. McKinney retired in 2015, and is now the director of corporate security for McKesson, a Fortune 500 pharmaceutical and health care company.
- Director’s Award for Excellence in Criminal Investigations, 2008
- Supervised trial of former mayor of Atlanta Bill Campbell, 2006
- Coordinator, FBI’s Corporate Fraud Task Force, 2002–2003
- Division III All-American in Basketball, 1986
“I walked out of Otterbein feeling that it was important to ask why. That has been significant for me throughout my career. You can spot the agents who have had the type of experience that I got from Otterbein — well-rounded, outspoken, they find a way to speak their mind without upsetting the apple cart.”