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A Look Back … Directors of Central Intelligence

From 1946 to 2005, the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) headed the world’s most important intelligence agency and oversaw the most sophisticated and most productive set of intelligence services ever known.

For nearly 60 years, 19 DCIs served 10 presidents and served through:

  • scores of major and minor wars, civil wars, military incursions, and other armed conflicts
  • two energy crises
  • a global recession
  • the specter of nuclear holocaust and the pursuit of arms control
  • the raising of the Berlin Wall and the fall of the Iron Curtain
  • the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; and
  • the arrival of international terrorism on the shores of America and the war against it overseas.

These men participated in or oversaw vital contributions that intelligence made to US national security.

When President George W. Bush signed the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act in December 2004, the Intelligence Community was restructured. The Act created the positions of Director of National Intelligence (DNI), which oversees the Intelligence Community, and the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (D/CIA). The Act abolished the position of DCI.

Here are the men – the Directors of Central Intelligence – who led the Central Intelligence Agency and the Intelligence Community for nearly six decades:

 

Sidney William Souers, Rear Admiral, US Naval Reserve

January 23-June 10, 1946

  • Appointed by President Harry S. Truman on January 23, 1946
  • Sworn in on January 23

Hoyt Sanford Vandenberg, Lieutenant General, US Army (Army Air Forces)

June 10, 1946–May 1, 1947

  • Appointed by President Harry S. Truman on June 7, 1946
  • Sworn in on June 10

Roscoe Henry Hillenkoetter, Rear Admiral, US Navy

May 1, 1947–October 7, 1950

  • Appointed by President Harry S. Truman on April 30, 1947
  • Sworn in on May 1

Walter Bedell Smith, General, US Army

October 7, 1950–February 9, 1953

  • Appointed by President Harry S. Truman on August 21, 1950
  • Confirmed by the Senate on August 28
  • Sworn in on October 7

Allen Welsh Dulles

February 26, 1953–November 29, 1961

  • Appointed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on February 9, 1953
  • Confirmed by the Senate on February 23
  • Sworn in on February 26

 

John Alex McCone

November 29, 1961–April 28, 1965

  • Appointed by President John F. Kennedy on September 27, 1961
  • Sworn in as recess appointee on November 29
  • Confirmed by the Senate on January 31, 1962
  • Sworn in on February 13

 

William Francis Raborn, Jr., Vice Admiral, US Navy (Retired)

April 28, 1965–June 30, 1966

  • Appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson on April 11, 1965
  • Confirmed by the Senate on April 22
  • Sworn in on April 28

Richard McGarrah Helms

June 30, 1966–February 2, 1973

  • Appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson on June 18, 1966
  • Confirmed by the Senate on June 28
  • Sworn in on June 30

 

James Rodney Schlesinger

February 2, 1973–July 2, 1973

  • Appointed by President Richard M. Nixon on December 21, 1972
  • Confirmed by the Senate on January 23, 1973
  • Sworn in on February 2

 

William Egan Colby

September 4, 1973–January 30, 1976

  • Appointed by President Richard M. Nixon on May 10, 1973
  • Confirmed by the Senate on August 1
  • Sworn in on September 4

 

George Herbert Walker Bush

January 30, 1976–January 20, 1977

  • Appointed by President Gerald R. Ford on November 3, 1975
  • Confirmed by the Senate on January 27, 1976
  • Sworn in on January 30

 

Stansfield Turner, Admiral, US Navy (retired in December 1978)

March 9, 1977–January 20, 1981

  • Appointed by President Jimmy Carter on February 8, 1977
  • Confirmed by the Senate on February 24
  • Sworn in on March 9

William Joseph Casey

January 28, 1981–January 29, 1987

  • Appointed by President Ronald Reagan on January 20, 1981
  • Confirmed by the Senate on January 27
  • Sworn in on January 28

 

William Hedgcock Webster

May 26, 1987–August 31, 1991

  • Appointed by President Ronald Reagan on March 3, 1987
  • Confirmed by the Senate on May 19
  • Sworn in on May 26

 

Robert Michael Gates

November 6, 1991–January 1993

  • Appointed by President George Bush on May 14, 1991
  • Confirmed by the Senate on November 5
  • Sworn in on November 6

 

R. James Woolsey

February 5, 1993–January 10, 1995

  • Appointed by President William J. Clinton on January 21, 1993
  • Confirmed by the Senate on February 3
  • Sworn in on February 5

 

John Mark Deutch

May 10, 1995–December 15, 1996

  • Appointed by President William J. Clinton on March 19, 1995
  • Confirmed by the Senate on May 9
  • Sworn in on May 10

 

George John Tenet

July 11, 1997–July 11, 2004

  • Appointed by President William J. Clinton on March 19, 1997
  • Confirmed by the Senate on July 10
  • Sworn in on July 11

Porter Johnston Goss

September 24, 2004–April 21, 2005

  • Appointed by President George W. Bush on August 10, 2004
  • Confirmed by the Senate on September 22
  • Sworn in on September 24
  • Goss served as the first Director of Central Intelligence Agency, from April 21, 2005 – May 5, 2006

 

For more on the Directors of Central Intelligence, visit:


Historical Document
Posted: Jun 12, 2008 08:58 AM
Last Updated: Apr 30, 2013 12:05 PM