CIA Offices of the Director Explained

John O. Brennan is currently the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). He serves as the head of the Central Intelligence Agency, which includes managing the operations, personnel, and budget and acting as the National Human Source Intelligence (HUMINT) Manager. The Director of the CIA is nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate.

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Brennan is responsible for ensuring that the CIA serves as the nation’s first line of defense and that the agency’s mission is realized through:

  • The collection of information that provides insight into the intentions, plans, and capabilities of our nation’s foreign adversaries
  • Timely analysis of intelligence that allows the President and other senior U.S. decision makers to make decisions, create policies, and take appropriate actions
  • The completion of covert actions (at the direction of the President) to achieve U.S. policy objectives and preempt threats

The work of the CIA is accomplished through its core disciplines:

  • Intelligence collection
  • All-source analysis
  • Science and technology
  • Worldwide logistical support

And its core values:

  • Service: Putting Country and Agency before self
  • Integrity: Upholding the highest standards of conduct
  • Excellence: Embracing personal accountability through the highest personal standards


The Intelligence Cycle

It is the job of Brennan and the many professionals who work within the CIA’s Offices of the Director to ensure that the intelligence cycle—obtaining raw information and transforming it into finished intelligence for policymakers to use when making decisions and creating policies—is always carried out. The intelligence cycle is carried out through five, distinct steps:

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Planning and Direction: Involves the management of the complete intelligence cycle, from identifying the need to delivering the intelligence product

Collection: Focuses on the gathering of raw information that is needed to produce the final intelligence product; this process may include:

  • Signals intelligence
  • Open-Source Intelligence
  • Measurement and Signature Intelligence
  • Imagery intelligence
  • Human Intelligence
  • Geospatial Intelligence

Processing: Involves converting obtained intelligence into a form that can be used by analysts; may include decryption, data reduction, and language translations

Analysis and Production: Involves the transformation of basic information (which may be incomplete or contradictory) into finished intelligence that is then provided to U.S. policymakers

Dissemination: Involves distributing the finished intelligence product to the consumers (i.e. policymakers)

Departments within the Offices of the Director

The Office of the Director accomplishes it mission through the activities of the following subordinate staff, all of which are called upon to support the role of the Director:

Associate Director for Military Affairs (ADMA): Serves as the principal military advisor to the Offices of the Director and acts as a liaison between the CIA and the Department of Defense

DNI Open Source Center (OSC): Serves as the center for open source intelligence

Office of Congressional Affairs (OCA): Advises the Offices of the Director on matters related to congressional interactions with the CIA

Office of Diversity Plans and Programs (DPP): Creates and oversees programs focused on hiring employees with critical skills and knowledge and specific cultural backgrounds and abilities

Office of Equal Employment Opportunity (OEEO): Oversees reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities and enforces federal law related to equal employment

Office of General Counsel (OGC): Serves as the principal source of legal counsel for the CIA and the legal advisor to the Offices of the Director

Office of Inspector General (OIG): Conducts independent audits, inspections and investigations on internal operations and programs of the ICA; ensures efficiency and accountability regarding the administration of CIA activities

Office of Public Affairs (OPA): Services as the communications hub for the media, for CIA employees, and for the general public

Office of Strategy Management (OSM): Supports and oversees CIA strategy-related activities

Office of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO): Provides financial services and directs procurement activities for the CIA; other services include overseeing the CIA’s program and budget, defending the budget to external reviews, and overseeing the execution of the budget

Office of the Chief for Policy and Coordination (OPC): Ensures CIA coordination, advocacy and oversight on areas such as CIA policies, strategies and regulations

Office of the Chief Information Officer (CIO): Oversees the CIA’s information technology and information management programs; serves as the senior CIA official for Privacy and Civil Liberties

Office of the Chief of Human Resources (HR): Responsible for planning and developing the CIA workforce

Operations Center (OPS Center): Serves as the hub for all CIA watches, warnings, and crisis management activities; also provides off-hour command and control representation for the Offices of the Director

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Further, the Offices of the Director oversee a several staffs that oversee:

  • Public affairs
  • Human resources
  • Protocol
  • Congressional affairs
  • Legal issues
  • Information management
  • Internal oversight

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