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The United States Director of National Intelligence (DNI) is the United States government Cabinet-level official—subject to the authority, direction, and control of the president of the United States—required by the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 to:

Director of National Intelligence
Seal of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.svg
Seal of the Director of National Intelligence
Joseph Maguire official photo (cropped).jpg
Joseph Maguire

since August 16, 2019
United States Intelligence Community
Member ofCabinet
National Security Council (NSC)
Reports toPresident of the United States
SeatWashington, D.C.
AppointerThe president
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

The director produces the President's Daily Brief (PDB), a top-secret document including intelligence from all the various agencies, given each morning to the president of the United States.[1] The PDB is seen by the president and those approved by the President. Other than this the Director has no authority to issue orders or to instruct anyone to do anything.[citation needed]

On July 30, 2008, President George W. Bush issued Executive Order 13470,[2] amending Executive Order 12333 to strengthen the DNI's role.[3] Further, by Presidential Policy Directive 19 signed by Barack Obama in October 2012, the DNI was given overall responsibility for Intelligence Community whistleblowing and source protection.

Under 50 U.S.C. § 403-3a, "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 his or her tenure in either position.

The DNI is appointed by the president and is subject to confirmation by the Senate, and serves at the pleasure of the president. The current acting DNI is Joseph Maguire, who took office on August 16, 2019.



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 US 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 limited DNI role in leading the US Intelligence Community is discussed on the Intelligence Community page.)


The first Director of National Intelligence was US 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 to 2 in favor of his appointment on April 21, 2005, and he was sworn in by President Bush on that day.

On February 13, 2007, John Michael 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 most recently the Director of the National Reconnaissance Office, and previously the Duty Director for Science and Technology at the US CIA and earlier in his career the Assistant Director of the Justice Department's FBI.

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.[6] 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. Another blog entry by McCullagh on September 7, states that the DNI site should now be open to search engines.[7] This explanation is plausible because 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.[8] robots.txt has been configured to allow access to all directories for any agent.

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.[9]

On July 20, 2010, President Obama nominated retired Lt. (three-star) Gen. James R. Clapper for the position. Clapper was confirmed by the Senate on August 5, and replaced acting Director David C. Gompert. The prior DNI was retired Navy four-star admiral Dennis C. Blair, whose resignation became effective May 28, 2010.[10]

Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI)Edit

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.[11] The budget for the ODNI and the Intelligence Community for fiscal year 2013 was $52.6 billion[12] and the base request for fiscal year 2014 was $48.2 billion.[13] The Military Intelligence Program (MIP) base budget request for fiscal year 2014, excluding overseas contingency funds, is $14.6 billion, which together with the NIP, comprise an Intelligence Community budget request of $62.8 billion for fiscal year 2014.[14] The ODNI has about 1,750 employees.[15]

On March 23, 2007, DNI John Michael 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. The six ODNI centers include:

ODNI organizationEdit

The ODNI is divided into core, enabling, and oversight offices. The Principal Deputy Director (PDDNI) to the DNI, in a role similar to that of a Chief Operating Officer, oversees operation of ODNI offices, manages Intelligence Community (IC) coordination and information sharing, reinforces the DNI's intelligence-integration initiatives, and focuses on IC resource challenges.

Core missionEdit

The core mission functions of the ODNI are organized under the Deputy DNI for Intelligence Integration (DDNI/II). The DDNI/II facilitates information sharing and collaboration through the integration of analysis and collection, and leads the execution of core mission functions. These include:


Oversight offices include the General Counsel, civil liberties, public affairs, Inspector General, Equal Employment Opportunity, and legislative affairs functions.[11]


  Denotes an Acting Director of National Intelligence
No. Director Term of Office President(s) served under
Position succeeded the Director of Central Intelligence
1   John Negroponte April 21, 2005 – February 13, 2007 George W. Bush
2   Mike McConnell February 13, 2007 – January 27, 2009
3   Dennis C. Blair January 29, 2009 – May 28, 2010 Barack Obama
  David Gompert
May 28, 2010 – August 5, 2010
4   James R. Clapper August 5, 2010 – January 20, 2017
  Mike Dempsey
January 20, 2017 – March 16, 2017 Donald Trump
5   Dan Coats March 16, 2017 – August 15, 2019
  Joseph Maguire
August 16, 2019

Directors organized by length of service in office Edit

# In Office Director Days Rank by Length of Term President
ClapperJames R. Clapper
2,360 days (6 years, 168 days)
CoatsDan Coats
882 days (2 years, 152 days)
McConnellJohn Michael McConnell
714 days (1 year, 349 days)
G. W. Bush
NegroponteJohn Negroponte
663 days (1 year, 298 days)
G. W. Bush
BlairDennis C. Blair
484 days (1 year, 119 days)
  •  List does not include Acting Directors.

Proposed nomination of John Ratcliffe to be DirectorEdit

President Donald Trump announced on July 28, 2019, that he intended to nominate Republican congressman John Ratcliffe to replace Dan Coats as DNI but abruptly withdrew his name five days later.[16][17]. Ratcliffe is a prominent Trump supporter.[18] Ratcliffe has asserted that Russian interference may have benefited Trump's 2016 rival Hillary Clinton more than it benefited Trump.[19] Since January 2017, the intelligence community, the Senate Intelligence Committee and Robert Mueller have maintained that Russia acted to benefit Trump.[20][21][22]

Democrats asserted Ratcliffe was unqualified and too partisan to serve in such a role, considered among the most nonpartisan in the federal government.[23] Some Republicans also privately expressed discontent with his selection and concerns about his ability to be confirmed.[24] However, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr and Senator John Cornyn expressed confidence in him.[25][26] Democratic senators including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Ron Wyden, a member of the Intelligence Committee, said that Radcliffe’s only qualification for the office appeared to be "blind loyalty" to Trump, noting that he has promoted of some of Trump’s conspiracy theories about the Russia investigation and has called for prosecution of Trump’s political enemies.[27][28] Several former members of the intelligence community expressed concerns that Ratcliffe's appointment risked politicizing intelligence work.[29][30] They expressed fear that with Ratcliffe as DNI, Trump would in effect be assuming personal control over the intelligence community, which would then be expected to tell him only what he wants to hear.[31] They stressed the need for intelligence to be "candid, truthful and accurate even if it is unpleasant and does not confirm to the biases of the president".[32]

After Trump's announcement, it was unclear if he would retain Sue Gordon, a highly regarded career intelligence officer who currently serves as the Principal Deputy Director of the agency, 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."[33] However, federal law requires that the role of acting DNI be taken by the deputy director, although Trump could bypass the law by removing Gordon from her current role, as he did with Claire Grady during a reorganization of the Homeland Security Department earlier in 2019.[34][35] One Democratic congressional official told NBC News, "if he appoints anyone other than Sue Gordon as acting DNI, the Senate will raise holy hell."[36]

On August 2, 2019, Trump said in a tweet that he was withdrawing Ratcliffe's name from nomination. Trump said it was because media scrutiny of Ratcliffe was unfair, while White House sources said that Trump had become concerned about Ratcliffe's chances for confirmation, following feedback from some Republican senators.[37] When asked by a reporter later that day about the White House vetting process, Trump insisted the press had treated Ratcliffe unfairly, but he also suggested that he liked the way the press "vetted" his nominees, saying "You vet for me."[38]

Line of successionEdit

The line of succession for the Director of National Intelligence is as follows:[39]

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


Principal Deputy Directors of National IntelligenceEdit

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 – January 2007 George W. Bush
Donald Kerr October 2007 – January 2009 George W. Bush
Ronald L. Burgess Jr.
January 2009 – February 2009 Barack Obama
David C. Gompert November 10, 2009 – August 2010 Barack Obama
Stephanie O'Sullivan February 18, 2011 – January 20, 2017 Barack Obama
Susan M. Gordon August 7, 2017 – August 15, 2019 Donald Trump

Chief Operating OfficerEdit

Name Term of Office President(s) served under
Deirdre Walsh February 2018 – Present Donald Trump

Director of the Intelligence Staff/Chief Management OfficerEdit

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 November 2010 – n/a Barack Obama, Donald Trump

Intelligence Community Inspector GeneralEdit

Name Term of Office President(s) served under
Charles McCullough October 7, 2010 – March 2017[40] Barack Obama, Donald Trump
Michael Atkinson May 17, 2018 – Present Donald Trump

Deputy Directors of National IntelligenceEdit

Name Office Term of Office President(s) served under
Beth Sanner Mission Integration May 2019[41] – present Donald Trump
Kevin Meiners[42] Enterprise Capacity n/a - present Donald Trump
Karen Gibson National Security Partnerships April 2019[43] - present Donald Trump
Corin Stone[44] Strategy & Engagement n/a - present Donald Trump

Assistant Directors of National IntelligenceEdit

Name Office Term of Office President(s) served under
Deborah Kircher ADNI for Human Capital October 2011[45] – present Barack Obama, Donald Trump
John Sherman Intelligence Community Chief Information Officer September 2017[46]-present Donald Trump
Trey Treadwell[47] Chief Financial Officer n/a – present Donald Trump
Catherine Johnston ADNI for Systems and Resource Analyses May 2018[48] – present Donald Trump
Roy Pettis[49] ADNI for Acquisition, Procurement and Facilities n/a – present Donald Trump
James Smith[50] ADNI for Policy and Strategy (acting) n/a – present Donald Trump

See alsoEdit


  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. ^ "Bush Orders Intelligence Overhaul". The New York Times. Associated Press. July 31, 2008.
  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. ^ McCullagh, Declan (2007-08-24). "Feds use robots.txt files to stay invisible online. Lame". CNET. Retrieved 2014-02-14.
  7. ^ McCullagh, Declan (2007-09-07). "National Intelligence Web site no longer invisible to search engines". CNET. Retrieved 2014-02-14.
  8. ^ "Auto generated robots.txt file in WordPress". Codegrad. February 10, 2013. Archived from the original on August 9, 2013. Retrieved 2013-08-12. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  9. ^ "Director of National Intelligence Moves Forward with Intelligence Reform" (PDF). ODNI News Release No. 20-07. September 13, 2007.
  10. ^ Miller, Greg (May 21, 2010). "Dennis C. Blair to resign as Director of National Intelligence". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 3, 2010.
  11. ^ a b "Public Affairs Office, ODNI". Office of the Director of National Intelligence. ODNI. Archived from the original on 19 March 2013. Retrieved 14 April 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  12. ^ "National Intelligence Program" (PDF). Budget for Fiscal Year 2013. US Government Publishing Office. p. 85. Retrieved 14 Apr 2013.
  13. ^ "National Intelligence Program" (PDF). The Budget for Fiscal Year 2014. US Government Publishing Office. p. 75. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 April 2013. Retrieved 14 April 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  14. ^ "DoD Releases MIP Base Request for FY 2014". Department of Defense. Archived from the original on 12 April 2013. Retrieved 14 April 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  15. ^ Clark, Charles (September 2012). "Lifting the Lid". Government Executive. Archived from the original on 2 January 2014. Retrieved 14 April 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  16. ^ "Ratcliffe Tapped to Replace Coats as U.S. Spy Chief". July 28, 2019 – via
  17. ^ CNN, Zachary Cohen, Pamela Brown, Allie Malloy and Kaitlan Collins. "Trump says Ratcliffe is no longer his pick for director of national intelligence". CNN. Retrieved 2019-08-02.
  18. ^ "The quiet director: How Gina Haspel manages the CIA's volatile relationship with Trump". The Washington Post. 2019. Retrieved August 18, 2019.
  19. ^ "Intelligence chief pick Ratcliffe made his name during the Trump inquiries by backing the president". Washington Post.
  20. ^ Intelligence Community Assessment: Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections, January 6, 2017
  21. ^ "Senate panel backs intelligence agencies on Russia-Trump conclusions". July 3, 2018 – via
  22. ^ Connolly, Griffin; Connolly, Griffin (July 24, 2019). "Russia wanted Trump to win in 2016, Mueller testifies — challenging Barr" – via
  23. ^ Associated Press. Doubts emerge about Trump pick for US intelligence chief, Nexstar Broadcasting,, July 29, 2019.
  24. ^ Barnes, Julian E.; Fandos, Nicholas; Goldman, Adam (July 29, 2019). "Republican Senators Are Cool to Trump's Choice for Top Intelligence Post". New York Times.
  25. ^ Ferrechio, Susan. Top Senate Republican: Committee will 'swiftly' consider Ratcliffe nomination, Washington Examiner, July 29, 2019.
  26. ^ Childress, Rick (July 29, 2019). "Ratcliffe, Trump's pick for nation's top spy, finds GOP support from Cornyn". Retrieved August 18, 2019.
  27. ^ "Sen. Ron Wyden Slams Trump's DNI Pick John Ratcliffe". July 29, 2019.
  28. ^ Demirjan, Karoun (July 28, 2019). "Intelligence chief pick Ratcliffe made his name during the Trump inquiries by backing the president". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 30, 2019.
  29. ^ Cite error: The named reference :3 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  30. ^ Borger, Julian (July 29, 2019). "Trump's intelligence pick is attempt to 'neutralise' spy agencies, say ex-officials" – via
  31. ^ Sheth, Sonam. "Current and former officials say Trump's pick for spy chief would be 'an arm of the White House' who could paralyze the intelligence community". Business Insider.
  32. ^ Haberman, Maggie; Barnes, Julian; Baker, Peter (July 28, 2019). "Dan Coats to Step Down as Intelligence Chief; Trump Picks Loyalist for Job". The New York Times. Retrieved July 31, 2019.
  33. ^ CNN, Zachary Cohen and Nicole Gaouette. "Trump says Ratcliffe will 'rein in' US intelligence agencies as spy chief". CNN.
  34. ^ Chesney, Robert (July 29, 2019). "Who Will Be the Acting Director of National Intelligence (DNI) on Aug. 15?". Lawfare. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
  35. ^ Press, Colleen Long, Associated. "Acting DHS deputy secretary forced to resign, officials say".
  36. ^ "Is Trump's pick for top spy qualified for the job?". NBC News.
  37. ^ CNN, Zachary Cohen, Pamela Brown, Allie Malloy and Kaitlan Collins. "Trump says Ratcliffe is no longer his pick for director of national intelligence". CNN. Retrieved 2019-08-02.
  38. ^ "Trump to Reporters: 'You Vet for Me'". August 2, 2019.
  39. ^ "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.
  40. ^ Poulsen, Kevin (February 12, 2018). "U.S. Intelligence Shuts Down Damning Report on Whistleblower Retaliation" – via
  41. ^ "Deputy DNI for Mission Integration". Retrieved 2019-08-09.
  42. ^ "Deputy DNI, Enterprise Capacity". Retrieved 2019-08-09.
  43. ^ "Karen Gibson Named Deputy Director of National Intelligence". Executive Gov. 2019-04-23. Retrieved 2019-08-09.
  44. ^ "Deputy DNI, Strategy & Engagement". Retrieved 2019-08-09.
  45. ^ "Assistant DNI, Chief Human Capital Office". Retrieved 2019-08-09.
  46. ^ "Chief Information Officer". Retrieved 2019-08-09.
  47. ^ "Leadership". Retrieved 2019-08-09.
  48. ^ "Assistant DNI, Systems & Resource Analyses". Retrieved 2019-08-09.
  49. ^ "NRO Honored at Intelligence Community Acquisition, Facilities, and Log". National Reconnaissance Office. Retrieved 2019-08-09.
  50. ^ "Assistant DNI, Policy & Strategy". Retrieved 2019-08-09.

External linksEdit