The FBI confirmed Thursday it has named a new head of its Portland field office.

Section Chief Kieran Ramsey will take over for Special Agent In Charge Renn Cannon, who is set to retire early next year after overseeing the office since January 2017.

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Ramsey, who was officially named to the post Nov. 4, spent time in Portland earlier this year during large, nightly racial justice protests that at times turned violent. The protests in Portland were a particular focus for the Trump administration, as the president and U.S. Attorney William Barr called for a harsher crackdown on demonstrators.

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FBI Special Agent In Charge Renn Cannon briefs reporters in Portland on Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018.

FBI Special Agent In Charge Renn Cannon briefs reporters in Portland on Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018.

Conrad Wilson/OPB

In August, the FBI announced it was bringing in additional resources to assist law enforcement because of the protests.

“The FBI is going to take a larger role in these nightly acts of violence,” Cannon said at the time.

The New York Review of Books reported that a counterterrorism unit of the FBI traveled to Portland in July to exploit the cellphones of protesters as a way to map a network of demonstrators and organizers.

Ramsey directs the Hostage Recovery Fusion Cell, an interagency group based at FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C., that includes individuals from the State Department, Treasury Department, Justice Department and members of the intelligence community.

Previously, Ramsey served as the FBI’s legal attaché at U.S. embassies in Cairo and Rome. He was an assistant special agent in charge of the FBI’s Boston field office in 2014, where he helped investigate the Boston Marathon bombings, and Ramsey has worked in the agency’s Seattle field office.

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