About CIA


CIA Vision, Mission, Ethos & Challenges


CIA’s information, insights, and actions consistently provide tactical and strategic advantage for the United States.


Preempt threats and further US national security objectives by collecting intelligence that matters, producing objective all-source analysis, conducting effective covert action as directed by the President, and safeguarding the secrets that help keep our Nation safe.


The officers of the CIA are guided by a professional ethos that is the sum of our abiding principles, core values, and highest aspirations. This ethos holds us on course as we exercise the extraordinary influence and authorities with which we have been entrusted to protect the Nation and advance its interests. CIA’s ethos has many dimensions, including:

  • Service. We put Nation first, Agency before unit, and mission before self.  We take pride in being agile, responsive, and consequential.
  • Integrity. We uphold the highest standards of lawful conduct.  We are truthful and forthright, and we provide information and analysis without institutional or political bias. We maintain the Nation’s trust through accountability and oversight.
  • Excellence. We bring the best of who we are to everything we do. We are self aware, reflecting on our performance and learning from it. We strive to give our officers the tools, experiences, and leadership they need to excel.
  • Courage. We accomplish difficult, high-stakes, often dangerous tasks.  In executing mission, we carefully manage risk but we do not shy away from it. We value sacrifice and honor our fallen.
  • Teamwork. We stand by and behind one another. Collaboration, both internal and external, underpins our best outcomes. Diversity and inclusion are mission imperatives.
  • Stewardship. We preserve our ability to obtain secrets by protecting sources and methods from the moment we enter on duty until our last breath.

Key Challenges

  • Close intelligence gaps with enhanced collection and analysis on the countries, non-state actors, and issues most critical to the President and senior national security team.
  • Fulfill our global mission to give customers decision advantage as they confront an unprecedented volume and diversity of worldwide developments that affect US interests.
  • Leverage technological advances for better performance in all mission areas—collection, analysis, covert action, and counterintelligence—while protecting against technological threats to the security of our information, operations, and officers.
  • Improve the ways we attract, develop, and retain talent to maximize each CIA officer’s potential to contribute to achieving mission.
  • Better manage Agency resources during a period of fiscal austerity.

Posted: Apr 04, 2007 03:54 PM
Last Updated: Dec 16, 2013 07:30 AM