Susan M. Gordon

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Sue Gordon
Susan M. Gordon official photo.jpg
Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence
In office
September 5, 2017 – August 15, 2019
PresidentDonald Trump
Preceded byStephanie O'Sullivan
Succeeded byTBD
Deputy Director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
In office
January 1, 2015 – August 9, 2017
PresidentBarack Obama
Donald Trump
Preceded byMichael Rodrigue
Succeeded byJustin Poole
Personal details
EducationDuke University (BS)

Susan M. Gordon served as Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) until August 15, 2019.[1][2] Prior to assuming that role, she was the Deputy Director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), having assumed the position on January 1, 2015.[3] Before joining the NGA, she served as director of the CIA's Information Operations Center and senior cyber adviser to the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.[4] Gordon worked for the Central Intelligence Agency for over 25 years.[5]

Early life and education[edit]

Gordon obtained a B.S. from Duke University in 1980, majoring in zoology.[6] While in school, she was a power forward for the Blue Devils women's basketball team.[7]


Gordon joined the Central Intelligence Agency in 1980, where she worked as an analyst in the Office of Scientific and Weapons Research, Directorate of Intelligence.[3] She later moved to the Agency's Directorate of Science & Technology, as well as the first director of the Office of Advanced Analytic Tools (AAT), serving in that capacity from July 1996 to October 2000.[8][3][9] Gordon was later Deputy Director for Support at the CIA.[7] Prior to assuming Deputy Directorship of the NGA, Gordon served concurrently as Director of the CIA's Information Operations Center and as the CIA Director's senior advisor on cyber issues.

President Donald Trump announced on July 28, 2019, that he intended to nominate Republican congressman John Ratcliffe to replace Dan Coats as Director of National Intelligence (DNI), but withdrew Ratcliffe from consideration five days later.[10][11] After Trump's announcement, it was not immediately clear if he would retain Gordon, as acting DNI during Ratcliffe's confirmation process, or if she would be retained in the agency upon Ratcliffe's confirmation. Two sources told CNN there was an active search underway and that Gordon was not considered likely to be retained because she "is viewed by some in the administration as someone who is not going to be the type of political loyalist Trump wants in that role."[12] Some Trump allies advised him Gordon was too close to former CIA director John Brennan, an outspoken Trump critic, an assertion Brennan dismissed.[13][14] One Democratic congressional official told NBC News, "if he appoints anyone other than Sue Gordon as acting DNI, the Senate will raise holy hell."[15] By law, the Principal Deputy succeeds the Director upon a vacancy, but on August 8, 2019 Trump announced Gordon was resigning and appointed the Director of the National Counterterrorism Center Joseph Maguire as acting DNI.[16]


  1. ^ "Principal Deputy DNI".
  2. ^ "Top intelligence official Sue Gordon leaving her post same day as boss". Retrieved 2019-08-20.
  3. ^ a b c "Sue Gordon, Deputy Director". National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. Archived from the original on May 18, 2017.
  4. ^ Hoffman, Mary-Louise (June 30, 2017). "NGA Deputy Director Susan Gordon Nominated to Fill ODNI No. 2 Post". ExecutiveGov. Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  5. ^ Chappellet-Lanier, Tajha (June 29, 2017). "Sue Gordon nominated to be principal deputy director of national intelligence". FedScoop. Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  6. ^ Duke University (October 31, 2014). "Duke University Alumni: Sue Gordon '80". YouTube. Retrieved May 18, 2017. Sue Gordon '80, director of the CIA's Senior Advisor for Cyber and director of Information Operations, says that majoring in zoology at Duke University was the perfect choice for preparing for a career at the CIA. Interview by Christina Holder. Video by Christina Holder and Morgan Capps.
  7. ^ a b Windrem, Robert (November 14, 2014). "Sisterhood of Spies: Women crack the code at the CIA". NBC News. Archived from the original on May 18, 2017.
  8. ^ Richelson, Jeffrey T. (2008). The Wizards Of Langley: Inside The CIA's Directorate Of Science And Technology. Basic Books. ISBN 9780786742660. Director, Office of Advanced Analytical Tools (AAT): Susan Gordon: July 18, 1996 - October 2000
  9. ^ Finegan, Jay (1998). "License to Know". CIO. pp. 48–49.
  10. ^ "Ratcliffe Tapped to Replace Coats as U.S. Spy Chief". July 28, 2019 – via
  11. ^ "Ratcliffe withdraws from consideration for intelligence chief less than a week after Trump picked him". Washington Post.
  12. ^ CNN, Zachary Cohen and Nicole Gaouette. "Trump says Ratcliffe will 'rein in' US intelligence agencies as spy chief". CNN.
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Brennan scoffs at Trump Jr. suggestion his ties to Sue Gordon disqualify her for DNI". Washington Examiner. August 9, 2019.
  15. ^ "Is Trump's pick for top spy qualified for the job?". NBC News.
  16. ^ CNN, Kevin Liptak. "Trump announces new intel chief pick, No. 2 intelligence official is leaving administration". CNN.

External links[edit]

Media related to Susan M. Gordon at Wikimedia Commons