LANGLEY, VA — Today, CIA welcomed Former President George H.W. Bush back to CIA headquarters to mark the 40th anniversary of his swearing-in as Director of Central Intelligence (DCI).
Bush’s tenure as DCI marked a turning point for the Agency as it came out of a period of great controversy. He is credited with restoring focus and boosting morale in the institution, and he remains one of the most beloved Directors in the Agency’s history.
President Bush expressed his appreciation for CIA in a statement: “It is a great joy for me to return to a place that means so much to the defense and security of America. To be honest, I am not sure what impact I had on the CIA during my fascinating year helping to lead the Agency, but I can tell you the men and women there made a lasting and profound impact on me. Then, as today, they offer the truest example of unheralded patriotism embodying service to country out of love for country. They never get the full recognition they deserve, but it did this 91-year-old heart good today to try to express to them the thanks the men and women of the CIA are surely due.”
In welcoming former President Bush, Director John O. Brennan said, “Your legacy resonates deeply, even to this day. From your name on the signs marking CIA headquarters, to your advocacy for CIA’s value in an increasingly complex world, to your vision of this Agency as one unit and one family, your tenure left a deep impression. This is your CIA in more than just name. Welcome home.”
President Barack Obama sent a warm congratulation in honor of the occasion: “President George H.W. Bush is an extraordinary public servant who truly represents the best of our character as a Nation. I wholeheartedly join Director Brennan in welcoming President Bush back to CIA Headquarters and in thanking him for his decades of wise and selfless service to our country.”
As part of the day’s events, CIA announced the inaugural recipients of the newly-created George H.W. Bush Intelligence Officer awards. The award recognizes CIA officers who engage as exceptional partners across the Agency and within the Intelligence Community; who strive to deepen tradecraft and expertise; and who deliver on mission, to include how to improve Agency performance.
Additional information about today’s events and the history of President Bush’s time at CIA can be found at