CIA Directors Fast Facts

Here’s some background information about directors of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). As part of America’s intelligence community, the CIA collects information about foreign governments, organized crime and terrorist groups.


September 18, 1947 – The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is established.
    December 2004 – President George W. Bush signs terrorism prevention legislation, changing the director of central intelligence position to the director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Porter Goss is the first “D/CIA” after the reorganization.

    Current Director

    Gina Haspel
    – May 21, 2018-present
    – Appointed by President Donald Trump
    – Career – joins the CIA in 1985; Chief of Station; Deputy Director of the National Clandestine Service and Chief of Staff for the Director of the National Clandestine Service
    – Acting CIA director after Mike Pompeo is sworn in as Secretary of State
    First woman to become CIA director

    Former Directors of Central Intelligence

    Sidney Souers
    – January 23-June 10, 1946
    – Appointed by Truman as Director of Central Intelligence within the National Intelligence Authority.
    – Military Career – Rear Admiral, US Navy; Deputy Chief of Naval Intelligence
    – Later Career – first Executive Secretary, National Security Council (1947-1950)
    Hoyt S. Vandenberg
    – June 10, 1946-May 1, 1947
    – Appointed by Truman as Director of Central Intelligence within the National Intelligence Authority.
    – Military Career – General, US Army Air Corps
    – Later Career – Vice Chief of Staff, Air Force; Chief of Staff, Air Force
    Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter
    – May 1, 1947-October 7, 1950
    – Appointed by Truman as Director of Central Intelligence within the National Intelligence Authority.
    – November 24, 1947- Reappointed, first director under the new National Security Act
    – December 8, 1947- Senate confirmation
    – Military Career – Rear Admiral, US Navy; Officer in Charge of Intelligence, Staff of Pacific Commander, Adm. Chester W. Nimitz
    – Later Career – Vice Admiral; Inspector General of the Navy
    Walter Bedell Smith
    – October 7, 1950-February 9, 1953
    – Appointed by Truman.
    – Military Career – Lt. General, US Army; Chief of Staff for Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower; Commander, First Army
    – Other Experience – Ambassador to the Soviet Union (1946-1949)
    – Later Career – Undersecretary of State (1953-1954)
    Allen Dulles
    – February 26, 1953-November 29, 1961
    – Appointed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
    – Experience – US Diplomatic Service (1916-1926); Head, Office of Strategic Services, Bern, Switzerland (1942-1945); Deputy Director for Plans, CIA; Deputy Director, CIA
    John A. McCone
    – November 29, 1961-April 28, 1965
    – Appointed by President John F. Kennedy.
    – Military Career – Deputy Secretary of Defense; Under Secretary of the Air Force
    – Other Experience – Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission
    William F. Raborn Jr.
    – April 28, 1965-June 30, 1966
    – Appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson.
    – Military Career – Vice Admiral; Director, US Navy Special Projects Office; Deputy Chief of Naval Operations
    Richard Helms
    June 30, 1966-February 2, 1973
    – Appointed by Johnson.
    – Military Career – US Naval Reserve
    – Other experience – Office of Strategic Services (1943-1947); Deputy Director for Plans, CIA
    – Later Career – US Ambassador to Iran (1973-1977)
    James Schlesinger
    February 3, 1973-July 2, 1973
    – Appointed by President Richard M. Nixon.
    – Experience – University of Virginia, Economics professor; Assistant Director, Office of Management and Budget; Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission
    – Later Career – Secretary of Defense (1973-1975); Secretary of Energy (1977-1979)
    William Colby
    – September 4, 1973-January 30, 1976
    – Appointed by Nixon.
    – Military Career – US Army enlisted as 2nd Lt.
    – Other Experience – Office of Strategic Services (1943-1945), moved up through the ranks of the CIA; Deputy Director for Operations, CIA; attorney
    George H. W. Bush
    – January 30, 1976-January 20, 1977
    – Appointed by President Gerald R. Ford.
    – Military Career – Navy pilot
    – Other Experience – Texas Congressman; United Nations Ambassador; Chairman, Republican National Committee; Chief US Liaison Office, China
    – Later Career – US Vice President and President
    Stansfield Turner
    – March 9, 1977-January 20, 1981
    – Appointed by President Jimmy Carter.
    – Military Career – Admiral, US Navy; Director, Systems Analysis Division, Office of Chief of Naval Operations; President, US Naval War College; Commander, US Second Fleet; Commander in Chief, Allied Forces Southern Europe, NATO
    William Casey
    – January 28, 1981-January 29, 1987
    – Appointed by President Ronald Reagan.
    – Military Career – Officer, US Naval Reserve
    – Other Experience – attorney; Office of Strategic Services (1943-1945); Chairman, SEC; Under Secretary of State for Economic Affairs; president and chairman, US Export-Import Bank; President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board; manager, Reagan presidential campaign
    William Webster
    – May 26, 1987-August 31, 1991
    – Appointed by Reagan.
    – Military Career – Lieutenant, US Navy
    – Other Experience – US Attorney; Judge, US District Court and US Court of Appeals 8th Circuit; Director, FBI (1978-1987)
    Robert Gates
    – November 6, 1991-January 20, 1993
    – Appointed by George H.W. Bush.
    – Experience – Intelligence analyst, CIA; National Security Council staff; Deputy Director of CIA; Chairman, National Intelligence Council; Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs; Assistant to the President and Deputy for National Security Affairs; Secretary of Defense (2006-2011)
    R. James Woolsey Jr.
    – February 5, 1993-January 10, 1995
    – Appointed by President Bill Clinton.
    – Military Career – Captain, US Army
    – Other Experience – National Security Council Staff; General Counsel, Senate Committee on Armed Services; Under Secretary of the Navy; Adviser with US Delegation to SALT I; Ambassador and US representative, negotiations on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe
    John Deutch
    – May 10, 1995-December 15, 1996
    – Appointed by Clinton.
    – Experience – Systems analyst, Defense Department; Under Secretary of Energy; Under Secretary of Defense; Deputy Secretary of Defense
    – Later Career – Professor of Chemistry, MIT
    George Tenet
    – July 11, 1997-July 11, 2004
    – Appointed by Clinton.
    – Experience – Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (1982-1988); Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Intelligence Programs, National Security Council; Deputy Director of CIA

    Former Directors of the Central Intelligence Agency

    Porter Goss
    – September 24, 2004-May 5, 2006
    – Appointed by George W. Bush.
    – Military Career – US Army intelligence officer
    – Other Experience – clandestine service officer with the CIA; Sanibel, Florida, City Councilman, Mayor, Lee County Commission Chairman; Florida Congressman; Chairman, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
    Michael Hayden
    – May 30, 2006-February 13, 2009
    – Appointed by George W. Bush.
    – Military Career – General, US Air Force
    Leon Panetta
    – February 13, 2009-June 30, 2011
    – Appointed by President Barack Obama.
    – Military Career – Captain, US Army
    – Other Experience – Chief of Staff; California Representative; Chairman, House Committee on the Budget; Director, Office of Management and Budget
    – July 1, 2011-February 2013 – Secretary of Defense.
    David Petraeus
    – September 6, 2011-November 2, 2012
    – Appointed by Obama.
    – Military Career – Commander, US Central Command (CentCom); Commander, US forces in Afghanistan (USFOR-A) and NATO International Security Assistance Force (ISAF)
      John Brennan
      – March 8, 2013-January 20, 2017
      – Appointed by Obama.
      – Career – joins the CIA in 1980; Chief of Staff, CIA; Deputy Executive Director, CIA; Director of Terrorist Threat Integration Center, CIA; CEO, The Analysis Corporation
      Mike Pompeo
      – January 23, 2017-April 26, 2018
      – Appointed by Trump
      – Military Career – US Army (1986-1991)
      – Other Experience – Thayer Aerospace, founder and CEO; Sentry International, president; US Representative from Kansas (2011-2017); Secretary of State (2018-present)




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