Leadership in an Intelligence Organization: The Directors of Central Intelligence and the CIA

David Robarge

in The Oxford Handbook of National Security Intelligence

Published in print March 2010 | ISBN: 9780195375886
Published online September 2010 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Leadership in an Intelligence Organization: The Directors of Central Intelligence and the CIA

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For over six decades, the directors of the Central Intelligence (DCI) and the directors of Central Intelligence Agency (DCIA) have headed the world's most important intelligence agency and, until 2005, overseen the most sophisticated, largest, and most productive set of intelligence services. The establishment of the position of the director and the CIA under the law in 1947 was aimed to help avoid the another Pearl Harbor attack by taking strategic intelligence functions from separate departments and elevating them to the national level. The director was to have been the only adviser to the president with the institutional capability of presenting him with unbiased and non-departmental intelligence. The phrases in the National Security Act, however, only gave the director the potential to be leader of the intelligence community. Whether a director came close to being one was a result of the interplay of politics, personalities, and world events. With the line of authority only over the CIA, the director depended upon his powers of bureaucratic persuasion and his political clout at the White House to be heard and heeded. This article focuses on the directors of Central Intelligence and their leadership role in the intelligence organization. It discusses the profiles of the directors, their impact, their leadership typology, and their successes as directors of the intelligence community.

Keywords: Central Intelligence Agency; leadership; intelligence organization; profiles; successes; leadership typology

Article.  7649 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; International Relations

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