Rep. Silvestre Reyes Visits CIA, Addresses Employees
July 16, 2007
Rep. Silvestre Reyes, chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), spoke today to CIA employees about the importance of leadership and diversity in the Intelligence Community.
In welcoming remarks, CIA Director Michael V. Hayden said: “Chairman Reyes knows us well. He has shown his commitment to ensuring that we have what we need to do our job. He understands the breadth of our global mission. He understands the challenges we have in penetrating the hardest targets, and he understands the urgency with which we must work.”
Director Hayden noted that Chairman Reyes is a strong, thoughtful advocate for expanding diversity in the Intelligence Community workforce, improving language capabilities, strengthening human intelligence collection and all-source analysis, and broadening collaboration in the IC. The same priorities are reflected in CIA’s Strategic Intent, Director Hayden said.
Chairman Reyes told the standing-room-only crowd in the Agency Auditorium, “We’re living in very dangerous times, and therefore, we’re vitally dependent on your work and your ability to give us the kind of intelligence that we can act upon.”
On diversity, Chairman Reyes said the Intelligence Community must do an even better job of recruiting and retaining employees with a wide variety of backgrounds. “If we’re going to understand our enemies, we have to understand where they’re coming from, we have to understand their culture, we have to understand their customs, and we certainly have to understand them and their languages,” he said. “That has been one of our greatest challenges.”
A member of the Intelligence Committee since 2001, Chairman Reyes has visited Agency facilities and spoken with employees on many occasions. His speech today was part of CIA’s Leadership Speakers Forum, which is run by the Office of Diversity Plans and Programs.