Offices of CIA



  • What is the mission of the Directorate of Operations (DO)?
  • The mission of the Directorate of Operations is to strengthen national security and foreign policy objectives through the collection of human intelligence (HUMINT) and Covert Action.

  • How does the DO fit into the Intelligence Community (IC) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)?
  • The CIA is one of 16 agencies in the IC. The CIA is comprised of four directorates - one of which is the DO. The DO serves as the clandestine arm of the CIA, collecting human source intelligence (HUMINT) worldwide through human and technical means. In addition, the DO serves as the national authority for the coordination, de-confliction and evaluation of clandestine operations across the Intelligence Community.

  • Who leads the DO?
  • The Director of the Directorate of Operations (DDO) leads the DO workforce and the Clandestine HUMINT Community. In coordination with the HUMINT Community, the DDO jointly establishes and implements Community HUMINT standards and best practices; integrates the Community's operational HUMINT capabilities through collaborative planning, targeting, and synchronized operations; and monitors and evaluates the performance and status of the Clandestine HUMINT Enterprise.

  • How is the DO organized?
  • The DO is organized by geographic regions and issues.

  • Who works for the DO?
  • Scientists, engineers, economists, lawyers, historians, linguists, mathematicians, secretaries, accountants and computer specialists are but a few of the professionals continually in demand. Much of the Agency’s work, like that done in academic institutions, requires research, careful evaluation, and writing of reports that end up on the desks of this nation’s policymakers. Applicants are expected to have a college degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0 and must be willing to relocate to the Washington, D.C., area. Selection for Agency employment is highly competitive and employees must successfully complete a polygraph and medical examination and a background investigation before entering on duty. The Agency endorses equal employment opportunity for all employees. For further information, see the CIA Careers page.

  • Is the DO for me?
  • The DO is shaped by a diverse ethnic, educational and professional cadre. Common qualities of DO Officers include, a strong record of academic and professional achievement, good writing skills, problem-solving abilities, and highly developed interpersonal skills. Overseas experience and language capabilities are a plus but not a requirement for those wishing to apply.

  • What jobs are currently available?
  • Carefully read the "Careers at the CIA" page for current vacancies and application details.

  • Where will I serve?
  • Officers of the DO serve worldwide. More information is available once the applicant enters on duty.

  • What is a Core Collector?
  • Carefully read the Core Collector page.

  • Can I disclose that I work or have applied to work for the CIA?
  • We strongly encourage applicants to refrain from disclosing information concerning employment with the CIA, regardless of application status. Knowledge by non-Agency personnel of your association with the CIA or IC may limit your ability to perform or preclude you from certain assignments. DO applicants should therefore endeavor to protect the fact that they have applied and/or are thinking of applying to the CIA. We strongly urge your discretion throughout the entire hiring process to ensure maximum flexibility for your potential DO career. Further guidance will be provided as competitive applicants move through the hiring steps.

  • What benefits are available?
  • The Central Intelligence Agency offers many benefits. Most are competitive with the private industry. These include:

    • Paid Time Off
    • Federal Health and Life Insurance
    • Retirement
    • Education and Training
    • Health Services
    • Child Care Centers
    • Credit Union

    Carefully read about Benefits in detail at Life at CIA.

  • What is the employment process?
  • Carefully read the "Careers at the CIA" page for current vacancies and application details.

  • Are internships available in the Directorate of Operations?
  • Carefully read the Internship Programs page of the Directorate of Operations.

  • Does the CIA spy on Americans?
  • By direction of the President in Executive Order 12333 of 1981 and in accordance with procedures approved by the Attorney General, the CIA is restricted in the collection of intelligence information directed against U.S. citizens. Collection is allowed only for an authorized intelligence purpose; for example, if there is a reason to believe that an individual is involved in espionage or international terrorist activities. The CIA's procedures require senior approval for any such collection that is allowed, and, depending on the collection technique employed, the sanction of the Director of National Intelligence and Attorney General may be required. These restrictions on the CIA have been in effect since the 1970s.

  • Who decides when the CIA should participate in Covert Actions, and why?
  • Only the President can direct the CIA to undertake Covert Action. Such actions usually are recommended by the National Security Council (NSC) [external link disclaimer]. Intelligence oversight committees of the United States Congress provide oversight on all Covert Action activities.

  • What is the CIA's role in combating international terrorism?
  • The CIA supports the overall U.S. government effort to combat international terrorism by collecting, analyzing, and disseminating intelligence on foreign terrorist groups and individuals. The CIA also works with friendly foreign governments and shares pertinent information with them.

  • Who oversees the CIA? Does it act on its own initiative?
  • Both the Congress and the Executive Branch oversee the CIA’s activities. In addition, the CIA is responsible to the American people through their elected representatives, and, like other government agencies, acts in accordance with U.S. laws and executive orders. In the Executive Branch, the National Security Council—including the President, the Vice President, the Secretary of State, and the Secretary of Defense—provides guidance and direction for national foreign intelligence and counterintelligence activities. In Congress, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, as well as other committees, closely monitor the Agency’s reporting and programs. The CIA is not a policy-making organization; it advises the Director of National Intelligence on matters of foreign intelligence, and it conducts Covert Actions only at the direction of the President.

  • What if I want to eventually work for CIA?
  • To qualify for a position with the Agency, you must be 18 years of age, a U.S. citizen, and a high school graduate. Our personnel requirements change from month-to-month as positions are filled and others become available. A college degree, preferably an advanced degree, is a standard requirement for overseas Officers, Intelligence Analysts, and other Non-Clerical positions. Knowledge of a foreign language is also helpful. Because the Agency's personnel needs span such a broad spectrum, we do not recommend any one academic track over another.

    Carefully read the "Careers at the CIA" page for current vacancies and application details.

Posted: Mar 23, 2009 09:40 AM
Last Updated: Oct 01, 2015 02:27 PM