Director of the Central Intelligence Agency
|Director of the Central Intelligence Agency|
Seal of the CIA
Flag of the CIA
|Central Intelligence Agency|
Director of National Intelligence
with Senate advice and consent
|Term length||No fixed term|
|Precursor||Director of Central Intelligence|
|Inaugural holder||Porter J. Goss|
|Formation||April 21, 2005|
The Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (D/CIA) serves as the head of the Central Intelligence Agency, which is part of the United States Intelligence Community. The Director reports to the Director of National Intelligence (DNI). The Director is assisted by the Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. The Director is a civilian or a general or flag officer of the armed forces nominated by the President, with the concurring or nonconcurring recommendation from the DNI, and must be confirmed by a majority vote of the Senate.
Before April 21, 2005, the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) headed both the Intelligence Community and the Central Intelligence Agency. In addition, DCI served as an advisor to the President of the United States on intelligence matters and was the statutory intelligence advisor to the National Security Council (NSC). On April 21, 2005, the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) took on the roles as head of the Intelligence Community and principal intelligence advisor to the President and the NSC.
The post of DCI was established in 1946 by President Harry S. Truman; it thus predates the establishment of the Central Intelligence Agency (created by the National Security Act of 1947). After the end of World War II, the Office of Strategic Services was dismantled and its functions were split between the Departments of State and War (now Defense). President Truman soon recognized the inefficiency of this arrangement and created the Central Intelligence Group, which could be considered a smaller precursor to the National Security Council. The following year the National Security Act of 1947 created the Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Council, while formally defining the duties of the Director of Central Intelligence. The duties of the DCI had been further defined over the years by tradition, congressional acts, and Executive Orders.
2009–2011: Leon Panetta
On January 5, 2009, President Barack Obama nominated Leon Panetta for the position of the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. After his nomination, journalists, politicians, and media agencies—such as The Economist—raised concerns about his lack of intelligence agency experience. Time magazine commented that "[m]ore than a few eyebrows went up when word broke".
The Economist also speculated that Obama had selected Panetta because he needed a CIA director "untainted" by the Bush Administration's policies on torture and its handling of the Iraq War. David Ignatius said that advisers to Mr. Obama have told him that Panetta was chosen to provide political defense for the CIA:
"Panetta is a Washington heavyweight with the political clout to protect the Agency and help it rebuild after a traumatic eight years under George Bush, when it became a kind of national pincushion."
Ignatius further explains that Panetta does have tangential exposure to intelligence operations as director of the OMB and as the Chief of Staff for President Clinton, where he
"sat in on the daily intelligence briefings as [the] Chief of Staff, and he reviewed the nation's most secret intelligence-collection and covert-action programs in his previous post as director of the Office of Management and Budget."
The former Director of Central Intelligence, R. James Woolsey, Jr., is a supporter of Mr. Panetta, whom he has compared favorably with the Kennedy-era CIA leader John McCone. He described Panetta as "a very able individual with a successful career".
List of Directors of the Central Intelligence Agency
|Director||Tenure||President(s) served under|
|Position succeeded the Director of Central Intelligence|
|Porter J. Goss||September 24, 2004 – May 26, 2006||George W. Bush|
|Gen Michael V. Hayden, USAF||May 30, 2006 – February 12, 2009|
|Leon E. Panetta||February 13, 2009 – July 1, 2011|
|Michael J. Morell (Acting)||July 1, 2011 – September 6, 2011|
|David H. Petraeus||September 6, 2011 – November 9, 2012|
|Michael J. Morell (Acting)||November 9, 2012 – March 8, 2013|
|John O. Brennan||March 8, 2013 – Present|
- 10 U.S.C. § 528 Officers serving in certain intelligence positions: military status; exclusion from distribution and strength limitations; pay and allowances
- 50 U.S.C. § 403-6 Appointment of officials responsible for intelligence-related activities
- 50 U.S.C. § 403-4a Director of the Central Intelligence Agency
- Intelligence and Security with James Woolsey. Uncommon Knowledge. Filmed on January 14, 2009. Retrieved July 6, 2009.
- Pickert, Kate (December 2, 2008). "CIA Director: Leon Panetta". Time. Retrieved July 6, 2009.
- After April 21, 2005, the Director of the CIA is no longer the Director of Central Intelligence, and thus is referred to as the Director of the CIA only.