|7th Director of National Intelligence|
|Assumed office |
January 21, 2021
|Preceded by||John Ratcliffe|
|27th United States Deputy National Security Advisor|
January 11, 2015 – January 20, 2017
|Preceded by||Antony Blinken|
|Succeeded by||K. T. McFarland|
|4th Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency|
August 9, 2013 – January 10, 2015
|Preceded by||Michael Morell|
|Succeeded by||David S. Cohen|
Avril Danica Haines
August 27, 1969
New York City, U.S.
|Father||Thomas H. Haines|
|Education||University of Chicago (BA)|
Georgetown University (JD)
Avril Danica Haines (born August 27, 1969) is an American lawyer and senior government official who currently serves as the Director of National Intelligence in the Biden administration. She is the first woman to serve in this role. Haines previously served as Deputy National Security Advisor and Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in the Obama administration; the first woman to hold this position. Prior to her appointment to the CIA, she served as Deputy Counsel to the President for National Security Affairs in the Office of White House Counsel.
Early life and education
Haines was born in New York City on August 27, 1969, to Adrian Rappin (née Adrienne Rappaport) and Thomas H. Haines. She grew up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. The story of her early life appears in her father's autobiography with Mindy Lewis, A Curious Life: From Rebel Orphan to Innovative Scientist. Her mother was a painter. Haines identifies with her mother's Jewish faith. When Haines was 10, her mother developed chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and contracted avian tuberculosis; Haines and her father nursed Adrian in a home ICU until her death when Haines was 15 years old. Her father is a biochemist and professor emeritus at City College, who helped found the CUNY School of Medicine, where he served as the chair of the biochemistry department.
After graduating from Hunter College High School, Haines traveled to Japan for a year and enrolled at the Kodokan, an elite judo institute in Tokyo. In 1988, Haines enrolled in the University of Chicago where she studied theoretical physics. While attending the University of Chicago, Haines worked repairing car engines at a mechanic shop in Hyde Park. In 1991 Haines took up flying lessons in New Jersey, where she met her future husband, David Davighi. She later graduated with her Bachelor of Arts in physics in 1992.
In 1992, Haines moved to Baltimore, and enrolled as a doctoral student at Johns Hopkins University. However, later that year, Haines dropped out and with her future husband purchased a bar in Fell's Point, Baltimore, which had been seized in a drug raid; they turned the location into an independent bookstore and café. She named the store Adrian's Book Cafe, after her late mother; Adrian's realistic oil paintings filled the store. The bookstore won City Paper's "Best Independent Bookstore" in 1997 and was known for having an unusual collection of literary offerings, local writers, and small press publications. Adrian's hosted a number of literary readings, including erotica readings, which became a media focus when she was appointed by President Obama to be the Deputy Director of the CIA. She served as the president of the Fell's Point Business Association until 1998.
Early government service
In 2001, Haines became a legal officer at the Hague Conference on Private International Law. In 2002, she became a law clerk for United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit Judge Danny Julian Boggs. From 2003 until 2006, Haines worked in the Office of the Legal Adviser of the Department of State, first in the Office of Treaty Affairs and then in the Office of Political Military Affairs. From 2007 until 2008, Haines worked for the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations as Deputy Chief Counsel for the Majority Senate Democrats (under then-chairman Joe Biden).
Haines worked for the State Department as the assistant legal adviser for treaty affairs from 2008 to 2010.
In 2010, Haines was appointed to serve in the office of the White House Counsel as Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Counsel to the President for National Security Affairs at the White House.
On April 18, 2013, Obama nominated Haines to serve as Legal Adviser of the Department of State, to fill the position vacated after Harold Hongju Koh resigned to return to teaching at Yale Law School. However, on June 13, 2013, Obama withdrew Haines's nomination to be Legal Adviser of the Department of State, choosing instead to select her as Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Haines was nominated to replace Michael Morell, the CIA's deputy and former acting director. The office of the deputy director is not subject to Senate confirmation, with Haines subsequently taking office on August 9, 2013, the final day of Morrell's tenure. Haines was the first woman ever to hold the office of the deputy director, while Gina Haspel was the first female career intelligence officer to be named Director.
In 2015 Haines, then Deputy Director of the CIA, was tasked with determining whether CIA personnel should be disciplined for hacking computers of Senate staffers authoring the Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture. Haines chose not to discipline them, overruling the CIA Inspector General. During the Democratic National Committee email leak in the middle of the 2016 presidential campaign, Haines as DNSA convened a series of meetings to discuss ways to respond to the hacking and leaks. Subsequently, she was involved in the CIA project of redacting the Senate report for release. In the end, only 525 pages of the 6,700 page CIA torture report were released.
Targeted drone killings
During her years in Obama White House, Haines worked closely with John Brennan in determining administration policy on extra-judicial "targeted killings" by drones. Newsweek reported Haines was sometimes called in the middle of the night to evaluate whether a suspected terrorist could be "lawfully incinerated" by a drone strike.
The ACLU criticized the Obama policy on drone killings as failing to meet international human rights norms. Haines was instrumental in establishing the legal framework and policy guidelines for the drone strikes, which targeted suspected terrorists in Somalia, Yemen and Pakistan, but also resulted, according to human rights groups, in killing innocent civilians. An editor for In These Times said the policy guidelines "made targeted killings all over the world a normal part of US policy".
Critics of Haines's drone policy guidelines said though the guidelines stipulate "direct action must be conducted lawfully and taken against lawful targets," the guidelines do not reference any international or domestic law that might permit extrajudicial killings outside an active war zone. Opponents of US drone warfare have noted that Haines redacted the minimum criteria for an individual to be "nominated" for lethal action, that the term "nominated" is a deceptive euphemism for targeting people for assassination, and that the drone guidelines allow for the assassination of US citizens without due process.
After leaving the White House, Haines was appointed to multiple posts at Columbia University. She is a senior research scholar and deputy director for the Columbia World Projects, a program designed to bring to bear academic scholarship on some of the most basic and fundamental challenges the world is facing, and was designated the program's next director in May 2020, replacing Nicholas Lemann. Haines is also a fellow at the Human Rights Institute and National Security Law Program at Columbia Law School.
Haines has been a member of the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service. She is also a distinguished fellow at the Institute for Security Policy and Law, Syracuse University.
Palantir and WestExec
Haines has consulted for Palantir Technologies, a data-mining firm accused of assisting the Trump administration with immigrant detention programs, and was an employee of WestExec Advisors, a consulting firm with a secretive client list that includes high-tech start-ups seeking Pentagon contracts. The firm was founded by Antony Blinken, Biden's Secretary of State, and Michele Flournoy, a former Pentagon adviser.
In late June 2020, shortly after taking on the role of overseeing foreign policy and national security considerations for the Joe Biden 2020 presidential campaign transition team, references to Palantir and other corporations for which Haines had worked were removed from her fellowship resumé posted on the website of the Brookings Institution.
Director of National Intelligence
Nomination and confirmation
Prior to her confirmation hearings, Daniel J. Jones, chief investigator and author of the Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture in 2009–2012, criticized Haines for determining that several CIA employees should not be disciplined for hacking computers of Senate staffers authoring the report in 2015. Haines, then-Deputy Director, made the decision against the CIA inspector general's conclusion.
During her Senate confirmation hearing on January 19, 2021, Haines told Ron Wyden (D-OR) that she would comply with the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 requiring the intelligence community to share the report on who was responsible for Khashoggi's murder if confirmed. The Trump administration had refused to release the report.
Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM) asked Haines if she agreed with the conclusion of the Senate Intelligence Committee's 2012 report on torture which said that torture was ineffective for collecting intelligence because those tortured would say anything to stop the torture. Haines said there were "better" techniques than torture, and that torture was inhumane, degrading and unlawful.
Wyden also asked if Haines agreed with the CIA Inspector General's conclusion that it was wrong for CIA agents to hack the computers of Senate staffers investigating the use of CIA torture during the Bush administration. Haines said she agreed with the Inspector General's apology for the hack.
Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Mark Warner (D-VA) questioned Haines about U.S.-China relations and, specifically, whether she shared their opinion that China was an adversary. Haines said, "China is adversarial and an adversary on some issues and on other issues, we try to cooperate with them." Haines promised an "aggressive response" to China and to counter its "illegal and unfair practices", but also said the US would seek China's cooperation in addressing the climate crisis.
When questioned about the January 6, 2021, storming of the Capitol building, Haines said it was the primary responsibility of the FBI, not the intelligence community, to investigate domestic threats, though she also committed to collaborating with the FBI and Department of Homeland Security to evaluate the public threat of QAnon, a conspiracy theory promoted by some supporters of President Trump.
On January 20, 2021, Haines was confirmed by the Senate in an 84–10 vote. She was the first nominee to be confirmed by the Senate, and was sworn in the next day by Vice President Kamala Harris.
- "ODNI Welcomes Avril Haines as Director of National Intelligence". www.odni.gov. Retrieved January 22, 2021.
- "Questionnaire for Completion by Presidential Nominees" (PDF). United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
- Borger, Julian (January 26, 2021). "Avril Haines's unusual backstory makes her an unlikely chief of US intelligence". Guardian US. Retrieved February 5, 2021.
- Haines, Thomas; Lewis, Mindy (August 6, 2019). A Curious Life:From Rebel Orphan to Innovative Scientist. New York: Post Hill Press. p. 154. ISBN 9781642931938. Retrieved January 26, 2021.
- Klaidman, Daniel (June 26, 2013). "The Least Likely Spy". Newsweek. Archived from the original on January 19, 2016. Retrieved November 29, 2013.
- Bloom, Nate (December 10, 2020). "Jewz in the Newz: 3 Great Actresses on a Cruise; Jewish Woman Intelligence Chief, More Bourla". The American Israelite. Archived from the original on December 17, 2020. Retrieved December 12, 2020.
- Cohn, Robert A. "A look at Biden's Jewish picks for staff, Cabinet". St. Louis Jewish Light. Archived from the original on December 8, 2020. Retrieved December 9, 2020.
- Rubinstein, Dana (July 15, 2008). "Serious Chemistry". The New York Observer. Archived from the original on October 14, 2016.
- Muhlenkamp, Katherine (2013). "The University of Chicago Magazine". Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press. Archived from the original on February 3, 2017. Retrieved November 29, 2013.
- Corey, Mary (January 9, 1994). "Food and coffee, with books, billiards and student chefs". The Baltimore Sun. Archived from the original on December 20, 2016.
- Serpick, Evan (June 13, 2013). "New CIA number two was once a Fells Point fixture". City Paper. Archived from the original on February 21, 2014. Retrieved February 9, 2014.
- Boehlert, Eric (June 14, 2013). "Erotica, High Heels, and Handbags: Is This How The Beltway Press Should Cover Powerful Women?". Media Matters. Archived from the original on December 20, 2016. Retrieved February 3, 2017.
- Corey, Mary (May 22, 1995). "Between The Covers Erotica Nights A Hot Item At Fells Point Bookstore". The Baltimore Sun. Archived from the original on January 18, 2017.
- Buote, Brenda J. (January 4, 1998). "Fells Point debates tax to add desired services Benefits: Homeowners and merchants want a safer, cleaner neighborhood. But some residents don't think they can afford a community district levy". The Baltimore Sun. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016.
- Roberts, Roxanne; Yahr, Emily (June 13, 2013). "Avril Haines, new CIA #2, ran indie bookstore remembered for '90s 'erotica nights'". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on March 5, 2016.
- Burke, Naomi (April 23, 2013). "International Law: A Man's World?". Cambridge Journal of International and Comparative Law. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University. Archived from the original on March 27, 2016. Retrieved November 29, 2013.
- Clark, Lesley (June 12, 2013). "Changes at the CIA". mcclatchydc.com. McClatchy News Service. Archived from the original on December 3, 2013. Retrieved November 29, 2013.
- White House Office of the Press Secretary (April 17, 2013). "President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts". whitehouse.gov. Archived from the original on February 16, 2017. Retrieved June 22, 2013 – via National Archives.
- Peralta, Eyder (June 12, 2013). "CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell Retires". NPR. Archived from the original on April 15, 2015. Retrieved April 3, 2018.
- AFP (June 12, 2013). "Avril Haines appointed first female CIA deputy director". The Daily Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Archived from the original on September 27, 2018. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
- Dozier, Kimberly (June 13, 2013). "CIA deputy director retires". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Archived from the original on March 19, 2016. Retrieved November 29, 2013.
- White House Office of the Press Secretary (April 18, 2013). "Presidential Nominations Sent to the Senate". whitehouse.gov. Archived from the original on February 16, 2017. Retrieved June 22, 2013 – via National Archives.
- Shane, Scott (June 12, 2013). "C.I.A. to Get First Woman in No. 2 Job". The New York Times. Archived from the original on August 21, 2018. Retrieved February 26, 2017.
- DeYoung, Karen; Miller, Greg (June 12, 2013). "CIA's deputy director to be replaced with White House lawyer". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on December 5, 2013. Retrieved August 24, 2017.
- Varandani, Suman (February 3, 2017). "Who Is Gina Haspel? 5 Facts About Trump's CIA Deputy Director Pick". International Business Times. Archived from the original on February 3, 2017. Retrieved February 3, 2017.
Haspel joined the Central Intelligence Agency in 1985, and spent most of her career undercover. She has been part of several controversies, including her involvement in several torture programs conducted by the U.S. She also ran waterboarding and other interrogation techniques at some of CIA's "black sites" or secret prisons.
"Gina Haspel Selected to be Deputy Director of CIA". CIA. Archived from the original on February 3, 2017.
Ms. Haspel is the first female career CIA officer to be named Deputy Director.
Handley, Paul (February 2, 2017). "Woman tied to secret interrogations to be CIA No. 2". Yahoo News. Washington DC: Yahoo!. Archived from the original on February 4, 2017. Retrieved February 3, 2017.
A longtime CIA clandestine operations official reportedly involved in its much-criticized "black site" interrogations after the 9/11 attacks was named number two at the US spy agency Thursday.
- Holmes, Oliver (February 3, 2017). "CIA deputy director linked to torture at Thailand black site". The Guardian. Archived from the original on February 3, 2017. Retrieved February 3, 2017.
Kellyanne Conway, a senior White House aide and Trump's former campaign manager, congratulated Haspel in a tweet, saying she was the first female to be second in command at the CIA. However, Avril Haines was the first woman to hold the position, from 2013-15.
- Greenwald, Glenn (February 2, 2017). "The CIA's New Deputy Director Ran a Black Site for Torture". The Intercept. Archived from the original on February 2, 2017. Retrieved February 3, 2017.
That CIA official's name whose torture activities the Post described is Gina Haspel. Today, as BuzzFeed's Jason Leopold noted, CIA Director Mike Pompeo announced that Haspel was selected by Trump to be Deputy Director of the CIA.
- Riechmann, Deb (February 2, 2017). "Gina Haspel becomes first female CIA deputy director". WDSU. Archived from the original on February 2, 2017. Retrieved February 3, 2017.
- Tulumello, Jennifer Skalka (June 13, 2013). "Why Obama chose woman with no CIA experience for No. 2 CIA job". The Christian Science Monitor. Archived from the original on November 29, 2013. Retrieved November 29, 2013.
- Edelman, Adam (June 13, 2013). "New CIA deputy Avril Haines hosted erotica readings in the '90s". New York Daily News. Archived from the original on December 3, 2013. Retrieved November 29, 2013.
- Leonard, Ben. "Who is Avril Haines, Biden's director of national intelligence pick? The ex-CIA deputy director once owned a Baltimore book cafe". baltimoresun.com. Archived from the original on December 2, 2020. Retrieved December 9, 2020.
- Savage, Charlie (November 3, 2015). Power Wars. ISBN 9780316286602. Archived from the original on November 23, 2020. Retrieved October 3, 2020.
- Lipton, Eric; Sanger, David E.; Shane, Scott (December 13, 2016). "The Perfect Weapon: How Russian Cyberpower Invaded the U.S." The New York Times. Washington DC: Nash Holdings. p. A1. Archived from the original on May 27, 2017. Retrieved December 13, 2016.
In a series of "deputies meetings" run by Avril Haines, the deputy national security adviser and a former deputy director of the C.I.A., several officials warned that an overreaction by the administration would play into Mr. Putin's hands.
- Ackerman, Spencer (July 7, 2020). "The Proxy War Over a Top Biden Adviser". The Daily Beast. Archived from the original on July 26, 2020. Retrieved July 16, 2020.
- Shuham, Matt (November 24, 2020). "Former Senate CIA Investigator Warns Biden Against Picks Tainted By Torture, 'Cover-Up'". Talking Points Memo. Archived from the original on December 1, 2020. Retrieved December 9, 2020.
- Jones, Dustin (November 23, 2020). "Avril Haines Nominated As First Female Director Of National Intelligence". NPR. Archived from the original on December 2, 2020. Retrieved November 26, 2020.
- "A Top Intelligence Officer Joins the Law School". Columbia Law School. November 14, 2017. Archived from the original on June 22, 2018. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
- "Statement by the President on the Selection of Avril Haines as Deputy National Security Advisor". whitehouse.gov (Press release). December 18, 2014. Retrieved January 12, 2015 – via National Archives.
- EDT, Daniel Klaidman On 06/26/13 at 4:45 AM (June 26, 2013). "Avril Haines, The Least Likely Spy". Newsweek. Archived from the original on November 24, 2020. Retrieved December 9, 2020.
- Kaufman, Brett Max (July 1, 2016). "President Obama's New, Long-Promised Drone 'Transparency' Is Not Nearly Enough". ACLU. Archived from the original on July 26, 2020. Retrieved July 16, 2020.
- Haltiwanger, John (November 24, 2020). "Biden's pick for US spy chief played a central role in Obama's secretive drone war that resulted in hundreds of civilian deaths". Business Insider. Archived from the original on December 8, 2020. Retrieved December 9, 2020.
- Ackerman, Spencer (July 6, 2020). "The Proxy War Over a Top Biden Adviser". The Daily Beast. Retrieved December 26, 2020.
- Tomazin, Farrah (November 27, 2020). "Who is Avril Haines, Joe Biden's new spy chief?". The Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on December 6, 2020. Retrieved December 9, 2020.
- Benjamin, Medea; Winograd, Marcy (December 30, 2020). "Biden's pick for intelligence chief, Avril Haines, is tainted by drones and torture". Salon. Retrieved January 8, 2021.
- "Statement on Columbia World Projects deputy director Avril Haines' nomination by President-elect Biden as director of national intelligence". Columbia World Projects. November 23, 2020. Archived from the original on December 6, 2020. Retrieved November 24, 2020.
- "Avril Haines to Serve as Next Director of Columbia World Projects". Columbia World Projects. May 26, 2020. Archived from the original on December 6, 2020. Retrieved November 24, 2020.
- "Avril Haines". Inspire2Serve. Archived from the original on May 4, 2019. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
- Williams, Chris (November 23, 2020). "Who is Avril Haines, Joe Biden's director of national intelligence nominee?". WAGA-TV. Archived from the original on November 30, 2020. Retrieved November 26, 2020.
- "Distinguished Fellows". Syracuse University Institute for Security Policy and Law. Archived from the original on November 24, 2020. Retrieved November 23, 2020.
- Hussain, Murtaza (June 26, 2020). "Controversial Data-Mining Firm Palantir Vanishes from Biden Adviser's Biography After She Joins Campaign". The Intercept. Archived from the original on June 27, 2020. Retrieved June 27, 2020.
- Mullins, Brody; Bykowicz, Julie (November 25, 2020). "Biden Cabinet Picks Face Scrutiny Over Ties to WestExec Firm". The Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. ProQuest 2464196936. Archived from the original on December 1, 2020. Retrieved November 26, 2020.
- "The secretive consulting firm that's become Biden's Cabinet in waiting". POLITICO. Archived from the original on November 24, 2020. Retrieved December 9, 2020.
- Thomas, Ken; Restuccia, Andrew (November 23, 2020). "Biden Reveals Some Cabinet Picks". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on November 23, 2020. Retrieved November 23, 2020.
- Crowley, Michael; Smialek, Jeanna (November 23, 2020). "Biden Will Nominate First Woman to Lead Intelligence, Latino for Homeland Security". The New York Times. Archived from the original on November 23, 2020. Retrieved November 23, 2020.
- "The Winding Journey Of Avril Haines, Biden's Pick To Lead U.S. Intelligence". All Things Considered. NPR. Archived from the original on December 8, 2020. Retrieved December 9, 2020.
- "Biden administration 'to declassify report' into Khashoggi murder". The Guardian. London. January 19, 2021. Retrieved January 20, 2021.
- "Biden intel chief nominee vows to release Khashoggi murder report". Al Jazeera. January 19, 2021. Retrieved January 19, 2021.
- "Avril Haines and the Future of America's Drone Wars". On Point. WBUR. January 27, 2021. Retrieved January 28, 2021.
- Katkov, Mark (January 19, 2021). "Biden Pick For Intel Chief: 'Biggest Challenge Is Building Trust And Confidence'". NPR. Retrieved January 20, 2021.
- Harris, Shane; Nakashima, Ellen. "Avril Haines, Biden's nominee for DNI, faces questions on China, domestic extremism". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved January 24, 2021.
- Matishak, Martin. "Haines pledges to 'speak truth to power' if confirmed as Biden's intel chief". POLITICO. Retrieved January 20, 2021.
- Sprunt, Barbara (January 20, 2021). "Senate Confirms Avril Haines As Director Of National Intelligence". National Public Radio. Retrieved January 20, 2021.
- Kamala Harris [@VP] (January 21, 2021). "Earlier today, I swore in our first Cabinet member, Avril Haines, after her confirmation by the Senate last night. As the Director of National Intelligence, Director Haines will be dedicated to keeping the American people safe" (Tweet). Retrieved January 28, 2021 – via Twitter.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Avril Haines.|
- Avril Haines on Twitter
- Biography at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence
- Biography at the Central Intelligence Agency (archived)
- Appearances on C-SPAN
| Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency
David S. Cohen
| United States Deputy National Security Advisor
K. T. McFarland
| Director of National Intelligence
|U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)|
as Director of the Office of Management and Budget
| Order of precedence of the United States
as Director of National Intelligence
as Trade Representative