Overview of the CIA

The CIA is separated into four basic components. They carry out “the intelligence cycle,” the process of collecting, analyzing, and disseminating intelligence information to top US Government officials.

opa_9view.jpgThe National Clandestine Service (NCS) has responsibility for the clandestine collection of foreign intelligence, primarily human source intelligence (HUMINT). The NCS serves as the national authority for coordination, de-confliction, and evaluation of clandestine HUMINT operations across the Intelligence Community, consistent with existing laws, executive orders, and interagency agreements. The NCS is the front-line source of clandestine and weapons proliferation to military and political issues. To gather this important intelligence, CIA operations officers live and work overseas to establish and maintain networks and personal relationships with foreign “assets” in the field.


The Directorate of Intelligence (DI) analyzes all-source intelligence and produces reports, briefings, and papers on key foreign intelligence issues. This information comes from a variety of sources and methods, including US personnel overseas, agent reports, satellite photography, foreign media, and sophisticated sensors. The DI is responsible for timeliness, accuracy, and relevance of intelligence analysis that is of concern to national security policymakers and other intelligence consumers. While the CIA does not make foreign policy, our analysis of intelligence on overseas developments makers in the national security and defense arenas.

opa_13view.jpg The Directorate of Science and Technology (DS&T) accesses, collects, and exploits information to facilitate the execution of the Agency’s mission by applying innovative scientific, engineering, and technical solutions to the most critical intelligence problems. The DS&T incorporates over 50 different disciplines ranging from computer programmers and engineers to scientists and analysts. The DS&T partners with many other organizations in the Intelligence Community, using best practices to foster creative thinking and working level coordination. The DS&T continually seeks to push the boundaries of the state-of-the-art, infusing cutting-edge technologies with effective targeting and tradecraft.


The Directorate of Support (DS) provides support that is critical to the Agency’s intelligence mission. The DS delivers a full range of support, including: acquisitions, communications, facilities services, financial management, information technology, medical services, logistics, records management and declassification, and the security of Agency personnel, information, facilities and technology. DS services are international in focus, clandestine in nature, and offered on a 24/7 basis. Its responsibilities extend well beyond the CIA, into the greater Intelligence Community.

The Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (D/CIA) has several staffs directly subordinate to him that deal with public affairs, human resources, mission innovation, protocol, congressional affairs, legal issues, information management and internal oversight.

Historical Document
Posted: Sep 21, 2007 10:46 AM
Last Updated: May 27, 2014 11:45 AM