Directors and Deputy Directors of Central Intelligence, Preface

The Central Intelligence Agency’s Center for the Study of Intelligence has prepared this new edition of Directors and Deputy Directors of Central Intelligence to provide an accurate biographical guide for CIA, the Intelligence Community, other US Government offices, and the public.

In addition to 18 Directors of Central Intelligence, this work includes:

Maj. Gen. William J. Donovan, who headed the nation’s first independent intelligence organization during World War II. This forerunner of CIA was first created as the Office of the Coordinator of Information by President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s order of 11 July 1941, and later reorganized and renamed the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) by a military order of 13 June 1942 signed by President Roosevelt as Commander in Chief. As Coordinator of Information, General Donovan reported directly to the President, and as Director of Strategic Services he served under the direction of the Joint Chiefs of Staff until President Harry S. Truman dissolved the OSS just after the end of the war. At CIA’s Headquarters, General Donovan’s portrait hangs with those of the former Directors of Central Intelligence. These portraits are reproduced in this book.

After disbanding the OSS on 1 October 1945, President Truman established the Central Intelligence Group (CIG) on 22 January 1946. Although its budget and staff came from the several departments that maintained intelligence services, this new organization was headed by a Director of Central Intelligence (DCI), appointed by the President to serve under the supervision of a National Intelligence Authority made up of the Secretaries of State, War, and Navy and the President’s personal representative. Thus, there was a Director of Central Intelligence almost two years before there was a Central Intelligence Agency.

The CIA was established by sections of the National Security Act that went into effect on 18 September 1947, a birthday CIA shares with the US Air Force and the National Security Council, both also created by this Act. RAdm. Roscoe Hillenkoetter, whose tenure as third DCI spanned both CIG and CIA, was reappointed the new Act required. As both Director of the Central Intelligence Agency and head of the Intelligence Community, the Director of Central Intelligence is the primary adviser to the President and the National Security Council on national foreign intelligence matters. Executive Order 12333 of 4 December 1981 gives the DCI authority to develop and implement the National Foreign Intelligence Program budget and to coordinate the tasking of all Intelligence Community collection elements.

The office of Deputy Director of Central Intelligence (DDCI) changed gradually under CIG and CIA. Until 1953 the Director appointed his Deputy on his own authority. The first Deputy, Kingman Douglass, served only in an acting status for less than five months in 1946. For long periods CIA had no Deputy Director. The fourth DCI, Gen. Walter Bedell Smith, established the Deputy Director of Central Intelligence in the role DDCIs have since played in CIA.

Congress recognized the importance of the DDCI position in April 1953 by amending the National Security Act of 1947 to provide for the President to appoint the Deputy Director of Central Intelligence with the advice and consent of the Senate. The first DDCI to be so appointed was Lt. Gen. Charles Pearre Cabell, who served from 1953 to 1962. The 1953 amendment also provided that commissioned officers of the armed forces, whether active or retired, could not occupy both the DCI and DDCI positions at the same time. Lt. Gen. Marshall Carter thus had to resign as DDCI when President Johnson appointed VAdm. William Raborn to succeed John McCone as DCI.

The DDCI assists the Director by performing such functions as the DCI assigns or delegates. He or she acts for and exercises the powers of the Director during the latter’s absence or disability, or in the event of a vacancy in the position of the Director. Eight DDCIs have served as Acting Directors of Central Intelligence when the Director’s position was vacant: Allen Dulles, Vernon Walters, E. Henry Knoche, Robert Gates, Richard Kerr, William Studeman, and George Tenet, and John McLaughlin.

Historical Document
Posted: Mar 19, 2007 09:37 AM
Last Updated: Jul 07, 2008 10:43 AM