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Director of National Intelligence

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Director of National Intelligence
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence.svg
Seal of the Director of National Intelligence
Avril Haines

since January 21, 2021
Office of the Director of National Intelligence
StyleMadam Director
The Honorable
Member ofCabinet
National Security Council (NSC)
Reports toPresident of the United States
SeatWashington, D.C.
AppointerPresident of the United States
with Senate advice and consent
Constituting instrument50 U.S.C. § 3023
PrecursorDirector of Central Intelligence  (DCI)
FormationApril 22, 2005
First holderJohn Negroponte
DeputyPrincipal Deputy Director of National Intelligence (P/DDNI)

The Director of National Intelligence (DNI) is a cabinet-level United States government official, required by the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 to serve as head of the United States Intelligence Community and to direct and oversee the National Intelligence Program (NIP). The DNI also serves, upon invitation, as an advisor to the president of the United States and the executive offices of the National Security Council and the Homeland Security Council about intelligence matters related to national security. The DNI produces the President's Daily Brief (PDB), a top-secret document including intelligence from all the Intelligence Community agencies, given each morning to the president.[1]

President George W. Bush strengthened the role of the DNI on July 30, 2008 with Executive Order 13470,[2] which, among other things, solidified the DNI's authority to set goals for intelligence gathering and analysis, to set policy for the sharing of intelligence with foreign agencies, and the hiring and firing of senior intelligence officials.[3] The DNI was given further responsibility for overall responsibility for Intelligence Community whistleblowing and source protection by President Barack Obama via Presidential Policy Directive 19 on October 10, 2012.

Under 50 U.S.C. § 3026, "under ordinary circumstances, it is desirable" that either the director or the principal deputy director of national intelligence be an active-duty commissioned officer in the armed forces or have training or experience in military intelligence activities and requirements. Only one of the two positions can be held by a military officer at any given time. The statute does not specify what rank the commissioned officer will hold during their tenure in either position. The DNI, who is appointed by the president and is subject to confirmation by the Senate, serves at the pleasure of the president.

Upon the inauguration of President Joe Biden, the position was elevated to Cabinet-level.



Before the DNI was formally established, the head of the Intelligence Community was the director of central intelligence (DCI), who concurrently served as the director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

The 9/11 Commission recommended establishing the DNI position in its 9/11 Commission Report, not released until July 22, 2004, as it had identified major intelligence failures that called into question how well the intelligence community was able to protect U.S. interests against foreign terrorist attacks.

Senators Dianne Feinstein, Jay Rockefeller and Bob Graham introduced S. 2645 on June 19, 2002, to create the director of national intelligence position. Other similar legislation soon followed. After considerable debate on the scope of the DNI's powers and authorities, the United States Congress passed the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 by votes of 336–75 in the House of Representatives, and 89–2 in the Senate. President George W. Bush signed the bill into law on December 17, 2004. Among other things, the law established the DNI position as the designated leader of the United States Intelligence Community and prohibited the DNI from serving as the CIA director or the head of any other intelligence community element at the same time. In addition, the law required the CIA Director to report his agency's activities to the DNI.

Critics say compromises during the bill's crafting led to the establishment of a DNI whose powers are too weak to adequately lead, manage and improve the performance of the intelligence community.[4] In particular, the law left the United States Department of Defense in charge of the National Security Agency (NSA), the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA).


The first director of national intelligence was U.S. ambassador to Iraq John Negroponte who was appointed on February 17, 2005, by President George W. Bush, subject to confirmation by the Senate. It was reported that President Bush's first choice for DNI was former director of central intelligence Robert M. Gates, who was serving as president of Texas A&M University, but who declined the offer.[5] Negroponte was confirmed by a Senate vote of 98–2 on April 21, 2005, and he was sworn in by President Bush the same day.

On February 13, 2007, Mike McConnell became the second director of national intelligence, after Negroponte was appointed Deputy Secretary of State. Donald M. Kerr was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to be Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence on October 4, 2007, and sworn in on October 9, 2007. Kerr, from Virginia, was previously the director of the National Reconnaissance Office and the deputy director for science and technology at the CIA before that. Earlier in his career, he was an assistant director at the FBI, in charge of their Laboratory Division from 1997 to 2001.

On July 20, 2010, President Barack Obama nominated retired Air Force lieutenant general James Clapper as the fourth DNI. Clapper was confirmed by the Senate on August 5, and replaced acting director David C. Gompert. This followed Obama's dismissal of the third DNI, retired Navy admiral Dennis C. Blair, whose resignation became effective May 28, 2010.[6]

The fifth DNI, Dan Coats, the sixth DNI, John Ratcliffe, and acting DNIs Joseph Maguire, Richard Grenell and Lora Shiao, all served between March 16, 2017 and January 21, 2021, during the administration of President Donald Trump.

The seventh and current DNI is Avril Haines, who took office on January 21, 2021. The first woman to hold the office, she was nominated by President-elect Joe Biden on November 23, 2020[7] and confirmed by the Senate on January 20, 2021.[8]

Website issues

Declan McCullagh at wrote on August 24, 2007, that the DNI site was configured to repel all search engines to index any page at This effectively made the DNI website invisible to all search engines and in turn, any search queries.[9] Ross Feinstein, Spokesman for the DNI, said that the cloaking was removed as of September 3, 2007. "We're not even sure how (the robots.txt file) got there" – but it was again somehow hidden the next day. Feinstein's statement was plausible since some software used for web development has been known to cause servers to automatically generate and re-generate robots.txt, and this behavior can be difficult to turn off. Therefore, if the web developers working for the DNI had tried to solve the issue by simply removing robots.txt, it would have looked like it worked at first, but then fail once the server had undergone a self-check for the robots.txt file.[10] On September 7, McCullagh reported that the DNI appeared to be open to web searches again.[11]

Reform initiatives

In September 2007, the Office of the DNI released "Intelligence Community 100 Day & 500 Day Plans for Integration & Collaboration". These plans include a series of initiatives designed to build the foundation for increased cooperation and reform of the U.S. Intelligence Community.[12]

Office of the Director of National Intelligence

The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 established the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) as an independent agency to assist the DNI. The ODNI's goal is to effectively integrate foreign, military and domestic intelligence in defense of the homeland and of United States interests abroad.[13] The ODNI has about 1,750 employees.[14] Its headquarters are in McLean, Virginia.

On March 23, 2007, DNI Mike McConnell announced organizational changes, which include:

  • Elevating Acquisition to a new Deputy DNI position
  • Creating a new Deputy DNI for Policy, Plans, and Requirements (replacing the Deputy DNI for Requirements position)
  • Establishing an Executive Committee
  • Designating the Chief of Staff position as the new Director of the Intelligence Staff

The ODNI continued to evolve under succeeding directors, culminating in a new organization focused on intelligence integration across the community. The ODNI has six centers and 15 Offices that, together with the centers, support the Director of National Intelligence as the head of the Intelligence Community (IC) in overseeing and directing implementation of the NIP and acting as the principal advisor to the President, the National Security Council, and the Homeland Security Council for intelligence matters related to national security.[citation needed]


The ODNI leadership includes the director, principal deputy director and chief operating officer.[15] In addition, the Director of Defense Intelligence reports to the DNI.

There are two directorates, each led by a deputy director of national intelligence:[15][16]

There are three mission centers, each led by a director of that center:[15][16]

There are also four oversight offices:[15][16]


  Denotes an Acting Director of National Intelligence
No. Director Term of Office Days in Office
(yrs, dys)
Rank by Length of Term President(s)
Position succeeded the Director of Central Intelligence
John Negroponte official portrait.jpg
John Negroponte April 21, 2005 – February 13, 2007
663 days
(1 year, 298 days)
George W. Bush
Mike McConnell, official ODNI photo portrait (cropped).jpg
Mike McConnell February 13, 2007 – January 27, 2009
714 days
(1 year, 349 days)
Dennis Blair official Director of National Intelligence portrait (cropped).jpg
Dennis C. Blair January 29, 2009 – May 28, 2010
484 days
(1 year, 119 days)
Barack Obama
David Gompert official portrait (cropped).jpg
David Gompert
May 28, 2010 – August 5, 2010
James R. Clapper official portrait (cropped).jpg
James Clapper August 5, 2010 – January 20, 2017
2,360 days
(6 years, 168 days)
Michael Dempsey (cropped).jpg
Mike Dempsey
January 20, 2017 – March 16, 2017 Donald Trump
Dan Coats official DNI portrait (cropped).jpg
Dan Coats March 16, 2017 – August 15, 2019
882 days
(2 years, 152 days)
Joseph Maguire official photo (cropped).jpg
Joseph Maguire
August 16, 2019 – February 20, 2020
Richard Grenell official portrait (cropped).jpg
Richard Grenell
February 20, 2020 – May 26, 2020
John Ratcliffe official photo (cropped).jpg
John Ratcliffe May 26, 2020 – January 20, 2021
239 days
(239 days)
Lora Shiao.jpg
Lora Shiao
January 20, 2021 – January 21, 2021 Joe Biden
Avril Haines January 21, 2021 – Present
190 days

Line of succession

The line of succession for the director of national intelligence is as follows:[17]

  1. Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence
  2. Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Intelligence Integration
  3. Director of the National Counterterrorism Center
  4. Director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center
  5. Inspector General of the Intelligence Community


Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence

Name Term of office President(s) served under
Michael Hayden April 21, 2005 – May 26, 2006 George W. Bush
Ronald L. Burgess Jr.
June 2006 – October 2007
Donald Kerr October 2007 – January 2009
Ronald L. Burgess Jr.
January 2009 – February 2009 Barack Obama
David C. Gompert November 10, 2009 – August 2010
Stephanie O'Sullivan February 18, 2011 – January 20, 2017
Susan M. Gordon August 7, 2017 – August 15, 2019 Donald Trump
Andrew P. Hallmana
October 30, 2019 – February 21, 2020
Neil Wileya May 13, 2020 – February 2021 Donald Trump, Joe Biden
Stacey Dixon Nominated April 21, 2021 Joe Biden
a.^ Hallman's and Wiley's position was Principal Executive, which does not require Senate confirmation. The duties are the same as those of a principal deputy director.[18]

Chief Operating Officer

Name Term of office President(s) served under
Deirdre Walsh February 2018 – May 2020 Donald Trump
Lora Shiao October 2020 – present Donald Trump, Joe Biden

Director of the Intelligence Staff/ Chief Management Officer

Name Term of office President(s) served under
Ronald L. Burgess Jr. May 2007 – February 2009 George W. Bush, Barack Obama
John Kimmons February 2009 – October 2010 Barack Obama
Mark Ewing[citation needed] November 2010 – n/a Barack Obama, Donald Trump

Inspector General of the Intelligence Community

Name Term of office President(s) served under
Charles McCullough October 7, 2010 – March 2017[19] Barack Obama, Donald Trump
Michael Atkinson May 17, 2018 – May 3, 2020[20][21][22] Donald Trump
Thomas Monheim Acting April 3, 2020[23][24]A – present Donald Trump, Joe Biden
A.^ Monheim became Acting IG upon Atkinson's being put on administrative leave on April 3. He remained Acting IG upon and after Atkinson's official removal on May 3.[25]

Deputy directors of national intelligence

Name Office Term of office President(s) served under
Beth Sanner Mission Integration May 2019[26] – Present Donald Trump
Kevin Meiners[27] Enterprise Capacity n/a – Present Donald Trump
Karen Gibson National Security Partnerships April 2019[28] – 2020 Donald Trump
Corin Stone[29] Strategy & Engagement n/a – Present Donald Trump

Assistant directors of national intelligence

Name Office Term of office President(s) served under
Deborah Kircher ADNI for Human Capital October 2011[30] – Present Barack Obama, Donald Trump
John Sherman Intelligence Community Chief Information Officer September 2017[31] – June 2020[32] Donald Trump
Trey Treadwell[33] Chief Financial Officer n/a – Present Donald Trump
Catherine Johnston ADNI for Systems and Resource Analyses May 2018[34] – Present Donald Trump
Roy Pettis[35] ADNI for Acquisition, Procurement and Facilities n/a – Present Donald Trump
James Smith[36] ADNI for Policy and Strategy (Acting) n/a – Present Donald Trump

See also


  1. ^ "CIA to Cede President's Brief to Negroponte", February 19, 2005, The Washington Post
  2. ^ "Executive Order 13470". Federal Register. National Archives and Records Administration. July 30, 2008. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
  3. ^ Strohm, Chris (August 1, 2008). "Bush Orders Intelligence Overhaul". CongressDaily. Retrieved November 22, 2016 – via republished by Nuclear Threat Initiative at
  4. ^ Kaplan, Fred (7 December 2004). "You Call That a Reform Bill?". Slate.
  5. ^ "Robert M. Gates profile". The Washington Post. November 8, 2006. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
  6. ^ Miller, Greg (May 21, 2010). "Dennis C. Blair to resign as Director of National Intelligence". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 3, 2010.
  7. ^ Jones, Dustin (November 23, 2020). "Avril Haines Nominated As First Female Director Of National Intelligence". NPR. Retrieved November 24, 2020.
  8. ^ Jones, Dustin (January 20, 2021). "Senate confirms Avril Haines as director of National Intelligence". Fox news. Retrieved January 20, 2021.
  9. ^ McCullagh, Declan (2007-08-24). "Feds use robots.txt files to stay invisible online. Lame". CNET. Retrieved 2014-02-14.
  10. ^ "Auto generated robots.txt file in WordPress". Codegrad. February 10, 2013. Archived from the original on August 9, 2013. Retrieved 2013-08-12.
  11. ^ McCullagh, Declan (2007-09-07). "National Intelligence Web site no longer invisible to search engines". CNET. Retrieved 2014-02-14.
  12. ^ "Director of National Intelligence Moves Forward with Intelligence Reform" (PDF). ODNI News Release No. 20-07. September 13, 2007.
  13. ^ "Public Affairs Office, ODNI". Office of the Director of National Intelligence. ODNI. Archived from the original on 19 March 2013. Retrieved 14 April 2013.
  14. ^ Clark, Charles (September 2012). "Lifting the Lid". Government Executive. Archived from the original on 2 January 2014. Retrieved 14 April 2013.
  15. ^ a b c d "Leadership". Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Retrieved 2019-09-27.
  16. ^ a b c "Organization". Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Retrieved 2020-01-21.
  17. ^ "Designation of Officers of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence To Act as Director of National Intelligence". Federal Register. 78 FR 59159. 2013-09-25. Retrieved 2016-10-30.
  18. ^ "Andrew Hallman Joins the Office of the Director of National Intelligence as Principal Executive". October 31, 2019. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  19. ^ Poulsen, Kevin (February 12, 2018). "U.S. Intelligence Shuts Down Damning Report on Whistleblower Retaliation" – via
  20. ^ Haberman, Maggie; Savage, Charlie; Fandos, Nicholas (April 3, 2020). "Trump to Fire Intelligence Watchdog Who Had Key Role in Ukraine Complaint". The New York Times. Retrieved May 24, 2021.
  21. ^ "Trump Defends Firing 'Terrible' Intel Community Watchdog as Republicans Question Sacking". Politico. April 4, 2020. Retrieved May 24, 2021.
  22. ^ Kelly, Amita; Neuman, Scott (May 24, 2021). "Fired Intel Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson Pushes Back On His Dismissal". National Public Radio. Retrieved May 24, 2021.
  23. ^ "Office of the DNI on Twitter". Retrieved 2020-06-14.
  24. ^ "Trump Fires Intel IG, Taps White House Confidant for Pandemic Oversight Role". Government Executive. Retrieved May 24, 2021.
  25. ^ "Trump Fires Intel IG, Taps White House Confidant for Pandemic Oversight Role". Government Executive. Retrieved May 24, 2021.
  26. ^ "Deputy DNI for Mission Integration". Retrieved 2019-08-09.
  27. ^ "Deputy DNI, Enterprise Capacity". Archived from the original on 2020-10-22. Retrieved 2019-08-09.
  28. ^ "Karen Gibson Named Deputy Director of National Intelligence". Executive Gov. 2019-04-23. Retrieved 2019-08-09.
  29. ^ "Deputy DNI, Strategy & Engagement". Retrieved 2019-08-09.
  30. ^ "Assistant DNI, Chief Human Capital Office". Retrieved 2019-08-09.
  31. ^ "Chief Information Officer". Retrieved 2019-08-09.
  32. ^ "IC CIO Announces Departure" (Press release). Office of the Director of National Intelligence. April 20, 2020. John Sherman, Chief Information Officer (CIO) of the Intelligence Community (IC), today announced that he will depart the Office of the Director of National Intelligence in June to serve as the Principal Deputy CIO for the U.S. Department of Defense.
  33. ^ "Leadership". Retrieved 2019-08-09.
  34. ^ "Assistant DNI, Systems & Resource Analyses". Retrieved 2019-08-09.
  35. ^ "NRO Honored at Intelligence Community Acquisition, Facilities, and Log". National Reconnaissance Office. Retrieved 2019-08-09.
  36. ^ "Assistant DNI, Policy & Strategy". Retrieved 2019-08-09.

External links

This page was last edited on 27 July 2021, at 19:34
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