The Work of a Nation
Key Events in CIA History
President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs a military order establishing the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and naming William J. Donovan as its Director. Donovan remained a civilian until 24 March 1943, when he was appointed brigadier general. He advanced to the rank of major general on 10 November 1944.
President Harry S. Truman’s Executive Order 9621 abolishes the OSS and transfers its functions to the State and War Departments.
President Truman signs an executive order establishing the Central Intelligence Group to operate under the direction of the National Intelligence Authority. Truman names the first Director of Central Intelligence (DCI), Rear Admiral Sidney W. Souers, USNR, who was sworn in on the following day.
The National Security Act of 1947 establishes the National Security Council and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to replace the National Intelligence Authority and the Central Intelligence Group.
The Central Intelligence Agency Act of 1949 provides special legal and administrative authorities and responsibilities for the Agency and the DCI.
The Directorate of Administration is established.
Creation of the Directorate of Intelligence.
Establishment of the Directorate of Plans.
Laying of the cornerstone of the CIA Headquarters Building in Langley, Virginia.
The Directorate of Science and Technology is created.
President Lyndon B. Johnson receives the first President’s Daily Brief (PDB).
The Directorate of Plans becomes the Directorate of Operations.
Vice President George H. W. Bush presides at the laying of the cornerstone for the Headquarters Building Expansion. The New Headquarters Building is completed and occupied in March 1991.
The Central Intelligence Agency celebrates its 50th Anniversary.
The CIA headquarters compound is dedicated as the George Bush Center for Intelligence as specified in the Intelligence Authorization Act for fiscal year 1999.
CIA announces a major realignment of its support functions by replacing the Directorate of Administration with the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Chief Information Officer (CIO), Global Support, Human Resources and Security Mission Support Offices.
President George W. Bush signs the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act which restructures the intelligence community, abolishing the positions of DCI and DDCI and creating the position of the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (D/CIA).
Creation of the Directorate of Support, which replaces the Mission Support Offices.
Creation of the National Clandestine Service, replacing the Directorate of Operations, to oversee the Agency’s operational activities and the task of coordinating clandestine HUMINT collection community-wide.
To visit the Interactive Timeline, click here.