Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines yesterday took the oath of office to serve as the seventh DNI in the U.S.'s history. Haines is the first woman to lead the U.S. Intelligence Community, and will oversee the nation's 18 intelligence agencies:
- Two independent agencies—the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA);
- Nine Department of Defense elements—the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the National Security Agency (NSA), the National Geospatial- Intelligence Agency (NGA), the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), and intelligence elements of the five DoD services; the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Space Force.
- Seven elements of other departments and agencies—the Department of Energy’s Office of Intelligence and Counter-Intelligence; the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis and U.S. Coast Guard Intelligence; the Department of Justice’s Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Agency’s Office of National Security Intelligence; the Department of State’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research; and the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis
Haines has previously served as Deputy National Security Advisor to President Obama, was the Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, and served as the Legal Adviser to the National Security Council. Before joining the NSC, she led the Treaty office at the Department of State, was the Deputy Chief Counsel for the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, worked for The Hague Conference on Private International Law, and served as a law clerk for Judge Danny Boggs on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
She received a bachelor’s degree in Physics from the University of Chicago, a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center, and founded and ran a bookstore café for five years while engaged in community service in Baltimore.
Director Haines issued the following statement, “Serving in this role is the honor of a lifetime. From my time in government, I know that those who serve in the Intelligence Community are the very best this country has to offer. The men and women of the IC are patriots of extraordinary talent and expertise, who work tirelessly to protect our nation, advance its security and prosperity, and defend its freedoms and values.
“The mission of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence has never been more vital to our nation’s security or prosperity. At this important moment, with all of the extraordinary challenges and opportunities facing our nation, policymakers need access to timely and analytically rigorous intelligence. The IC must never hesitate to speak truth to power and to deliver intelligence driven by facts, not politics. I know it is what the President expects and demands. I am excited to begin this important work alongside such talented professionals.”
According to the New York Times, Haines told the Senate Intelligence Committee that she would work to establish a center within the intelligence community on foreign malign influences and assist the F.B.I. and Department of Homeland Security with a public written assessment of the threat from QAnon.
During an intelligence committee confirmation hearing, Reuters claims, Haines also said the U.S. should take an "aggressive stance" toward the threat posed by China. Haines claimed President Joe Biden indicated that the U.S. should find a way to impose costs on cyber attackers for the recent SolarWinds hack, attributed to Russia, on U.S. government agencies and businesses.