John O. Brennan Takes Helm as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency
March 8, 2013
John O. Brennan was sworn in this morning as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency by Vice President Joseph R. Biden in a ceremony at the White House. Director Brennan took the oath of office with his hand on an original draft of the Constitution, symbolizing that the CIA is committed to the rule of law. Brennan, who most recently served as Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, is the twenty-first Director to lead the women and men of the CIA.
Following his swearing-in, Director Brennan addressed the Agency’s global workforce from the auditorium at CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia, praising their hard work, courage, and dedication, and thanking their families for the sacrifices they have made. He emphasized that the CIA’s most precious asset is its workforce, and highlighted the importance of teamwork within the CIA, across the United States government, and with allies, as well as the need to invest in the Agency’s future.
After thanking Deputy Director Michael Morell for his outstanding stewardship of the Agency, Director Brennan told employees, “It is just terrific to be home and it is the honor and privilege of my life to be working with you as CIA Director.” He added, “I have seen first-hand the value of intelligence to policy formulation and commend the Agency’s employees for their vital role in keeping our country safe.”
Director Brennan answered questions from the workforce about topics such as the CIA’s need to recruit and retain talented people and the responsibilities that go along with working at the Agency.
“I will never expect of others what I don’t expect of myself,” Director Brennan said, adding that he believed in the values of “honesty, hard work, and respect for others.” Director Brennan told CIA’s workforce that Americans who want to serve our nation in the field of national security need to know their work will be valued at the Agency and said, “We all should be committed to leaving the Agency a little better, a little stronger, a little more capable than it was when we first got here.”
Director Brennan also sent the following note to all CIA employees earlier today:
A Message from Director Brennan
Today I had the profound honor of being sworn in as the 21st Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Having previously served here for 25 years, I am enormously grateful for the chance to come home and, more importantly, to work with you, the extraordinary men and women who make CIA the finest intelligence organization on earth. Your courage, talent, and dedication are a tribute to the Nation that you so ably defend, and I consider it the privilege of a lifetime to serve as your Director.
In the weeks, months, and years ahead, I will be turning to many of you for ideas, help, and guidance. I will especially look to Michael Morell, who has led the Agency so admirably as its Acting Director twice in recent years. Michael is an exemplary officer, a consummate professional, and a close friend. I couldn’t ask for a more capable or dedicated partner on the seventh floor.
As you all know, the challenges that our Agency faces today are tremendously diverse, ranging from cyber threats to terrorism to political upheaval in the Middle East to changing dynamics in Asia as well as budget tightening here at home. As I begin my first day as Director, I do so with a mix of humility and pride, fully aware of the challenges ahead but also confident that—working together—we will overcome them all. I am eager to start our service together, and I look forward to joining you in the vital work that the Nation has entrusted to us.