Director's Statement on New NCS Director
September 14, 2007
I am very happy to announce that Michael J. Sulick has accepted my offer to head the National Clandestine Service. A 25-year veteran of CIA, Mike is a familiar figure to many of you. He has spent more than a decade in assignments abroad for the Agency, including senior command positions. Mike has also excelled in crucial assignments here at Headquarters. Before being named Associate Deputy Director for Operations in August 2004, he was a division chief and chief of counterintelligence. Since retiring from CIA in November of that year, Mike has been a consultant to private business and has lectured on intelligence topics at universities, Intelligence Community agencies, and corporations. Those recent experiences brought him new perspectives and additional qualifications for one of the toughest jobs in government.
As a seasoned operations officer, Mike earned a reputation for superior tradecraft and sound judgment. He sharpened those skills in himself and has over the years developed and encouraged them in others. He is a proven leader who understands our Agency and the Intelligence Community. In conversations with me, Mike outlined his goals and expectations for the service. That includes continued progress in such essential areas as innovative operational platforms, information sharing—within CIA and beyond—cover, technology, and liaison relationships. He speaks his mind, and our rapport was immediate.
Mike will be a powerful addition to our Agency leadership team. The selection process for this vital post was rigorous; we considered candidates from inside and outside CIA. The pool was strong, but Michael, Steve, and I were unanimous in recognizing Mike as ideally prepared to guide the National Clandestine Service as it strives to meet the range of security challenges facing our country, starting with the fight against terror. He knows that espionage demands constant change and adaptation. His commitment to the men and women who do the difficult job of intelligence—his determination to create the conditions for excellence—is profound and enduring.
Mike will come aboard during the week of 17 September, and will spend his first few days reading in, meeting with colleagues old and new. He will work closely with his friend Jose to ensure a smooth leadership transition in our operational arm. On 30 September, as Jose enters the transition program at the close of his own distinguished Agency career, Mike will become Director of the National Clandestine Service.
Once again, Mike Sulick has answered his nation’s call to serve. Please join me in welcoming him back home to CIA.