At her swearing-in ceremony last week, CIA Director Gina Haspel highlighted the need for the agency to bolster its foreign language proficiency, build stronger partnerships and deploy more field officers.
Haspel, the first woman to lead the CIA in the agency’s 70-year history, was joined by President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the ceremony on May 21.
“I would be remiss if I did not also note the tremendous pride I take in being the first woman to serve as director,” Haspel said. “I would not be standing before you today if not for the remarkable courage and dedication displayed by generations of OSS and agency women. In roles both large and small, they challenged stereotypes, broke down barriers and opened doors for the rest of us. I am deeply indebted to them, and I am extremely proud to follow in their footsteps and to carry on their extraordinary legacy.”
Going forward, Haspel said CIA needs greater focus on the persistent strategic threat the nation faces in addition to the threat of global terrorism. The key to success, she continued, will be empowering “the incredible talent’ that resides within the agency.
“I am truly honored to have this opportunity to lead the best workforce in government,” Haspel said. “It has been nearly 50 years since an operations officer rose up through the ranks to become the director, and after the experience of the past two months, I think I know why that is.”