Presidental nominee James R. Clapper was unanimously confirmed by the Senate yesterday to become the next director of national intelligence.
Clapper, a retired Air Force lieutenant general who most recently served as director of military intelligence and as undersecretary of defense for intelligence, will take over for Dennis C. Blair and will oversee the nation’s 16 intelligence agencies.
“As we face evolving security threats and continue to build an integrated intelligence enterprise, the Intelligence Community and the nation are extremely fortunate to have such a distinguished leader at the helm,” stated Acting Director of National Intelligence David C. Gompert.
Senate came to its decision following a lengthy confirmation process after The Washington Post published an investigative report claiming that U.S. intelligence services have grown too complex to efficiently serve national security.
Clapper proved he was capable to align the nation’s intelligence efforts during his confirmation hearing in July. He will become the fourth director since the position was created in 2005 and was praised by Department of Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates as the right man for the job.
“I think the president could not have found a better person, a more experienced person, or [a person] with a better temperament to do this job and actually make it work than Jim Clapper,” Gates said in early June.
The newly appointed DNI holds 40 years in public service, including a 32-year Air Force career and senior Intelligence Community leadership positions. He previously served as director at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and was the first civilian director of NGA. He retired from the Air Force in 1995
“On behalf of the Intelligence Community, I congratulate Mr. Clapper on his confirmation and welcome him to the ODNI,” Gompert said.