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CIA Director Leon E. Panetta Unveils Blueprint for Agency’s Future

April 26, 2010

In remarks this morning to the Agency workforce, Director Leon E. Panetta unveiled CIA 2015, his blueprint for the organization’s future. CIA 2015 is an aggressive plan that builds on outstanding work done since 9/11. Its goal is to ensure that the Agency continues to act decisively on today’s national security challenges—such as terrorism, the proliferation of dangerous technology, cyber threats, and the actions of rogue states—while pivoting more easily toward emerging priorities.

“There’s something I’ve often said about government, but it applies to every organization,” said Director Panetta. “We govern either by leadership or by crisis. Leadership means making tough choices and planning ahead. That’s why we’re taking a hard look at future challenges, and what we want our Agency to look like five years from now. It’s our responsibility to get out in front of any problems, and CIA 2015 will help us do that.”

Director Panetta outlined CIA 2015’s three pillars. The first is investing in people. The CIA will recruit, train, and retain a highly talented and diverse workforce with the strengths to tackle any mission that arises. Bolstering the Agency’s foreign language capabilities is essential to that objective. The plan doubles the number of clandestine officers—and triples the number of analysts—enrolled in language training.

The CIA will enhance its use of more flexible and innovative deployments overseas—including new approaches to cover—paving the way for even better intelligence collection. More co-location of analysts and operators at home and abroad will both enrich the information provided to policymakers and lead to even more operational success in the field. This sort of fusion has more than proved its value over the years, and has been key to victories in counterterrorism and counterproliferation, among other disciplines.

The second pillar is investing in technology to extend the CIA’s operational and analytic reach and become more efficient. Agency personnel must be able to operate effectively and securely in a rapidly changing global information environment. The plan boosts the CIA’s potential for human-enabled technical collection and provides advanced software tools to help Agency officers tackle the huge volume of data they encounter in their work.

The third pillar is to achieve a new level of agility in maintaining the Agency’s global presence and surging for emergencies. The Agency will transform its support platforms around the world and consolidate certain business functions. Director Panetta commended the Agency’s tradition of minimal bureaucracy, a key ingredient in its responsiveness and impact. “When we’re told to get a job done, we can do it,” he said. “But we can’t take anything for granted. As good as we are, we can be better. As capable as we are, we can do more. As smart as we are, we can be tougher.”

He closed by paying tribute to the men and women of the CIA. Noting the bravery that Agency officers so often show—including in situations overseas like natural disasters that go beyond their intelligence charter—Director Panetta said, “You reflect not only America’s strength, but its ingenuity and decency, too.”

“During the course of my career, I’ve come to appreciate the people who truly focus on doing what’s right for the nation. I’m honored to lead this Agency and to be part of its amazing mission. My goal is to build on the strengths of the CIA and keep it the very best intelligence agency in the 21st century. Every generation has dedicated itself to the American dream of giving our children a better life. The test of our success is whether we can give our children a safer world.”

The Director’s session with employees, held in the Headquarters Auditorium, was also broadcast to CIA personnel in the Washington area and overseas.

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Posted: Apr 26, 2010 01:02 PM
Last Updated: Apr 29, 2013 01:16 PM