Remarks to Employees by Central Intelligence Agency
Director General Michael V. Hayden on Strategic Intent 2007-2011
(as prepared for delivery)
January 4, 2007
afternoon and Happy New Year. I wanted to get together today because
the start of a new year is the perfect time to talk about where we want
to go as an Agency. Not only for this year, but for a few years to come.
sent each of you a copy of our Strategic Intent the week before
Christmas. I hope you've had a chance to read it closely. As we take
action, as an Agency, to implement our goals, that document will have a
profound impact on everyone at CIA.
Strategic Intent Overview
see Strategic Intent as a clear, concise expression of who we are as an
organization, the challenges we face, and our strategic goals.
defines our mission. We are America's first line of defense. Put
bluntly, we accomplish what others can't. We collect decisive
intelligence, produce timely and insightful analysis, and conduct
covert action to preempt threats and advance our nation's interests.
declares our core values: Service, Integrity, Excellence. These are
what we live and breathe, so it seems almost redundant to put them in
writing. But these values inform our Intent as much as anything else.
there's Service—we put Country first and Agency before self. We pride
ourselves on our unique and vital contributions to the strength and
safety of the American people.
Integrity—we seek and speak the truth. We want to be worthy of the
great officers who came before us, and of our colleagues. Ours is an
organization that runs on trust.
third, Excellence—we must always hold ourselves, and each other, to the
highest standards. And we must constantly reflect on our performance,
learning from both our successes and our failures.
Strategic Intent also outlines the global environment we face and our
nation's expectations. As intelligence officers, we confront a truly
revolutionary period in global history, and a long war against
Our customers, from the
President on down, never have needed us more—not only to help combat
known threats, but to identify hidden dangers and opportunities in this
The American people look
to us to protect them and to uphold and defend the Constitution. They
expect us to operate largely in secret, but to do so in keeping with
their values. That's a social contract we must always honor. In this
spirit, we'll post our Strategic Intent on our public Web site as well.
to keep that contract, succeed in our mission, live up to our American
values, and remain the best in the world at what we do, our Strategic
Intent lists the broad goals we need to accomplish.
arrived at these 22 objectives after months of careful consideration
and with your involvement—which was crucial if they were to be relevant
and truly corporate. We received hundreds of comments and I want to
thank everyone who stepped forward with ideas.
Our goals fall under five categories.
The first is integration. Integration of our great strengths as an Agency,
integration with the Community, and working more closely with our foreign
partners. This is the overarching theme of our Strategic Intent.
is fulfillment of our leadership role in the Community. I want all of
you to know that the DNI asked us to add that goal. It is clear that
CIA will maintain and build on its role as a Community leader. We've
been given a mandate on HUMINT and open source collection. We will be
the standard bearer on analytical tradecraft, and we will take the lead
on coordinating foreign intelligence relationships.
third category is strengthening core capabilities. Integration only
pays off if the parts that are brought together are as strong as they
can be. We will expand and deepen expertise across all our mission
areas—analysis, espionage, covert action, as well as science and
technology. And we'll need a support structure that makes it all
Fourth, we will invest in our
people. We want to recruit, develop, and retain exceptional officers
from a diverse pool of talent. The single most important objective for
our Agency's future is to offer our aspiring managers the training and
experience they need to be effective leaders.
we will create a 21 st century infrastructure. Given our mission,
state-of-the-art IT isn't just nice to have—it's an existential
necessity. We also need to modernize and expand our physical
infrastructure and ensure we can stay in business under the most
So we know where we
want to go as an Agency. The tricky part lies in getting there. Today
we kick off that second phase of our initiative, which will be far more
complicated and labor intensive.
Steps Already Taken
not beginning from a standing start. We've already taken steps to
advance the goals of our Strategic Intent, especially when it comes to
integrating our Agency and investing in our people.
Operations Center is a good example. An ops center is the nucleus of
any intelligence service. Our business is all about information, and
that's where it all comes together. That's why I hold staff meetings
there every week.
It always surprised me
that CIA didn't actually have a single ops center. There was a place
everyone called the “Ops Center,” but in fact it had a wall down the
middle, with the DI on one side and the NCS on the other. That is no
longer the case—as of last week, we tore down that wall.
now have a truly integrated CIA Operations Center, where all the
Directorates, as well as the Open Source Center, are represented. Also,
in keeping with our commitment to integration across the Community,
officers from NSA and NGA work right alongside CIA officers there.
new Ops Center is very important for both its practical and symbolic
effect, and I see it as an ideal proving ground for our future leaders.
also approved the formation of a new Clandestine Communications Center,
which will bring together in one place all the elements that now handle
the various forms of sensitive comms. It'll be another significant move
toward greater cohesion and integration. The new center will be part of
the S&T, with a director from the National Clandestine Service and
two deputies, one from the S&T and one from Support.
revitalized the Covert Action Review Group and have placed it under
Deputy Director Steve Kappes' direct supervision. The Group is
addressing the challenges facing this critical mission area for our
Another important step we've
taken is to give the Center for the Study of Intelligence a key role in
fostering a common Agency culture and in creating a central repository
for lessons learned from across CIA.
this month, Carmen Medina will guide CSI, with its deep understanding
of our Agency's history and tradecraft, in performing these critical
services—again, to forge greater integration and to improve our core
We've also taken steps to
bring our Agency family closer together, from newly arrived EODs to our
retired colleagues. I hosted a cocktail reception for our new hires
back in November, and that's going to become a tradition.
the same time, we're reaching out to our retirees, whose wisdom and
insight are so important to this organization. I've sent notes to them
over the Web on what we're trying to achieve, and members of our
leadership team have spoken directly to meetings of their regional
As I said at Family Day
back in September, the well being of our families is a top priority for
Jeanine and me. Groups like our Family Advisory Board and Family
Support Unit have made a real difference with their initiatives on
behalf of our families, both here and overseas.
started the Leadership Development Initiative to bring a corporate
approach to building a deep bench of highly skilled and effective
leaders. I'm excited by the prospect of what the LDI will do for our
Agency's future. As part of our focus on developing and assessing
Agency leaders, we will soon start the process by which every SIS
officer will receive feedback from people above and below them, as well
as their peers.
I established an
External Advisory Board consisting of distinguished members of
industry, academia, and government—people like former C/JCS Dick Myers,
Dr. John Hamre, Carly Fiorina, and others with a tradition of service
to our country. The Board will be meeting for the second time next
On the Seventh Floor, we have
created a more responsive and corporate leadership structure. We've
established the Corporate Governance Board and the Performance Review
Board, as well as the Office of Policy and Corporate Coordination.
Agency officers, including the CIO, CFO, and C/HR are now direct
reports to me and, most importantly, they are empowered as never before
to set policy across Directorates. Among other things, they will help
CIA's leadership team to focus more effectively on concrete initiatives
to implement our Strategic Intent.
more closely with our foreign partners has been another major focus of
ours—CIA must play the lead role in leveraging foreign services for
intelligence critical to our national security. In my first month, I
was on the phone to some three dozen of my counterparts. I've visited
eight countries so far, and I intend to visit nine more in the next
So that's what we've
already done to address the goals embodied in our Strategic Intent.
Today, I'd like to announce ten specific actions to give its
implementation a head start.
to foster integration, I want to see a single onboarding process for
the entire Agency. Our new officers will EOD together regardless of
Directorate, and my intent is to have groups of new employees stay
together longer than they do right now. This will help us emphasize the
concept of a unified Agency as clearly and as early as possible in
every CIA career.
Second, we will
eliminate time in grade as a requirement for promotion. Advancement at
CIA will depend entirely on performance and potential, as measured
against a defined set of criteria for each occupation.
beginning with those who are currently GS-11s and below, we will
require cross-directorate assignments before they can be promoted to
GS-15. This dovetails with our requirement that all SIS candidates take
a Community rotation in order to be promoted.
I want to shift more intell dissemination to the Web. We'll have an
integrated Agency brand on JWICS, SIPRNet, and unclassified networks.
I'm intrigued by what the DI WIRe has been able to achieve, and it's
clear that this is the way of the future.
is our Analysts Forward initiative. I've talked to Deputy Director for
Intelligence John Kringen about placing more of our analysts in
overseas positions, where they not only have a front-row seat for their
accounts, but can accumulate regional expertise at an accelerated rate.
we plan to move much more of our applications development off-site,
into commercial workspaces that require SECRET clearances instead of
TOP SECRET. This will give us access to a large and innovative pool of
talent and will likely save us money, too. Our first effort on this
front, IStudio, will begin operations by early summer.
Seventh, as an investment in our people, we will place 200 slots under my
control that will be used for full-time internal and external training —whether
for professional development, a degree, or whatever best serves our mission.
This will ease the burden on our Directorates to cover for their people in
training, and ensure that our Agency is meeting its corporate responsibility to
develop a workforce that is second to none.
Eighth, I take my
responsibility as National HUMINT manager very seriously. I've asked
the NCS to establish a governing body that I will chair on a quarterly
basis that will include the leaders of the HUMINT community from across
the IC and the US military. I expect to chair the first of these in the
first quarter of this year and expect us to tackle issues associated
with tradecraft, as well as coordination and deconfliction of our
Ninth, we're going to
reestablish a senior Agency leadership position for
counterintelligence—an. This officer will oversee offensive and
defensive CI programs within the NCS; be responsible for Agency-wide
CI; and represent us on CI issues within the Community, across the
Executive Branch, and with Congress. Counterintelligence is too
critical an issue not to have a senior member of our leadership team
committed to it 24/7.
Tenth, we will
create a small Office of Strategy Management that will serve as
advocate and guardian of our Strategic Intent. The office will make
sure that our budget and policies are in line with our strategic goals
as an Agency, and that our Intent is aligned with the National
Intelligence Strategy. Every major corporation has an entity like this.
Here at CIA, it will be staffed by officers who might someday lead the
organization, and it will report directly to Associate Deputy Director
Michael Morell, Steve and me.
The initiatives I've outlined are just a start. In fact, there's very little that isn't on the table for discussion.
what I've mentioned, we're considering a wide range of actions, like
rethinking the role that career services play in the Agency, and
creating an Agency-wide Monster.com-style employment website. We're
also looking again at information sharing within CIA, and I expect some
fundamental changes in things like how we define “need to know” and
what accesses and information an individual can carry from one job to
the next throughout his or her career.
asked Michael to put together an Action Plan by the end of March
listing specific steps—with deadlines—that will transform our 22 goals
There will be five teams,
he aded by the Deputies in each of our Directorates. T he teams will
work across Directorate lines to find ways for us to meet every goal in
our Strategic Intent.
The teams will
address: integration; Community leadership; strengthening our core
capabilities; investing in our people; and infrastructure. In essence,
these teams will be integration in action.
at this stage in our strategic planning that your input is most
important. Please think hard about the kind of organization you want
CIA to be, and give us your best ideas. Send them to “Ask the Director”
on CIALink, just as you did during the first phase of this project.
is not a paper exercise. Once finalized, our Action Plan will be the
document against which we measure our progress toward each goal . Every
quarter, I will chair a PRB that assesses where we are and what needs
to be done to meet our objectives on time. CIA managers' goals and
objectives will reflect their responsibility to implement our strategic
Every component will align their
office's goals to our Strategic Intent. And ultimately, every single
employee's performance will be judged by their individual contributions
toward reaching our collective goals. Everyone will be in sync. One
Agency, working together toward one mission.
Our Strategic Intent will drive our budget during the next five years. We will realign our resources to meet our priorities.
doubt some of these changes will be disruptive at first. But that's an
acceptable price to pay in the short term for a CIA that is more
capable and agile in the long term.
discussed both the outlines of our Strategic Intent and some of its
specifics, I'm eager to hear your questions and comments.
before I open the floor, I want to underscore again exactly why we are
pursuing this comprehensive—and very challenging—effort to set a
strategic course for CIA.
I have told
you many times how impressed I am with the work you do each and every
day. Nothing makes me prouder as your Director than to say that the
courage, skill and urgency with which you met the challenge of 9/11
endures to this day.
You've kept up an
operational tempo unmatched in CIA's history, and you have done
extraordinary things to protect our Homeland from another attack.
is also true, however, that the operational demands of the recent past
too often limited the time and energy CIA had to address the demands of
We've gotten away with it
for a few years—and for very good reasons—but no organization can
thrive indefinitely without tending to strategic imperatives. Things
like infrastructure, career development, succession planning and the
constant push of our core capabilities to their highest level—these are
the things that will enable us to maintain our operational pace and
achieve success for years and years to come.
That's why what we're doing here is so important.
and I know there's no way we can take an operational pause. Our first
priority—head and shoulders above all others—is to do everything we can
to protect the nation.
In other words,
the effort we put into implementing our Strategic Intent will be a net
gain in terms of the sheer amount of work we have to do as an Agency.
Make no mistake—we'll all be a lot busier in the next year.
the return on that effort is nothing less than the Agency we want to
be—an intelligence service that is the model for all others, more
closely integrated both internally and with our Community and foreign
partners, even further ahead of the competition in expertise and
technology, and absolutely worthy of the great Republic we serve.
So now let me turn it over to you.