David H. Petraeus Takes Helm as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency
September 6, 2011
This morning, David H. Petraeus was sworn in as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency by Vice President Joseph R. Biden in a ceremony at the White House. Petraeus, who most recently served as the Commanding General of American and International Forces in Afghanistan, is the twentieth Director to lead the men and women of the CIA.
After his swearing-in, Director Petraeus addressed the Agency’s global workforce from the auditorium at CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia, praising their hard work and dedication and outlining his vision for the organization’s future. He emphasized the importance of independent analysis, agile operations, and cutting-edge technology in meeting the challenges of the Agency’s worldwide mission.
“I have the absolute highest regard for you and for this Agency. I believe it’s one of the greatest concentrations of talent and capability that our country has,” Director Petraeus told employees. “I respect the intellectual firepower as well as the courage, initiative, and selfless commitment that are the hallmarks of this organization. And I truly feel very privileged to be part of such a legendary institution.”
Director Petraeus answered questions from the standing-room-only crowd about topics such as his leadership style, his goals for the Agency, and the CIA’s relationship with partner agencies around the Intelligence Community.
Highlighting the CIA’s emphasis on education and flexibility, Director Petraeus said, “I’ve found through hard experience that it’s important to continually learn and adapt, to constantly assess situations, to identify and share lessons learned and best practices, and to strive to build an ever-better and ever-greater learning organization.”
Director Petraeus also sent the following note to all CIA employees today:
A Message from Director Petraeus
I had the great honor this morning of being sworn in at the White House as the twentieth Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. I subsequently met with President Obama and thanked him again for the privilege of leading this legendary institution – and the privilege of serving with you, the talented men and women of the CIA, whose courage, ingenuity, and hard work have made a decisive difference in protecting the nation. I also noted my gratitude for Michael Morell, who has served so ably as Acting Director for the past two months while graciously helping to develop and deepen my understanding of our organization.
I wanted to join this Agency for many of the same reasons that I joined the US Army 37 years ago – for the opportunity to serve with extraordinary people, to continue to contribute to critical missions, and to be able to further serve our great country. Today, I feel much the same way as I did as a newly commissioned Second Lieutenant – excited by the challenge, inspired by the company, and honored by the duty. I eagerly look forward to starting our work together, and to bringing our Agency’s unique strengths to bear on the many foreign threats and opportunities our country faces.