The role of overseeing the investigation into allegations of a hardline Islamist takeover plot at Birmingham schools is the latest in a long list of high profile tasks that Peter Clarke has undertaken.
A former deputy assistant commissioner at the Met, he boasts a formidable CV that reflects a long and impressive career at the top of policing but his latest post is a controversial one given his past.
As anti-terror chief during the 2000s he oversaw the handling of several major plots and attacks on the capital, including the July 7 London bombings and fertiliser bomb plot.
He became the face of the police's battle against terrorism, leading to concern at his involvement in investigating the Birmingham schools with some raising fears that it gives the impression that the issues are predominantly around counter-terrorism.
After studying law at Bristol University, Mr Clarke joined the Metropolitan Police in 1977 and spent time as an officer in Tottenham, Hackney and Brixton.In 1997, he was made head of royal and diplomatic protection and was in charge when Diana, Princess of Wales was killed in a car crash in Paris.
He took up the reins at the anti-terrorist branch in 2002. The officer, who is married with three children, was thrust into the public limelight after July 7, 2005.