The Office of the Director of National Intelligence this week bestowed one of its top honors on former Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.), who resigned her congressional post to take over as CEO of a Washington, D.C., area think tank.
Harman, who served for more than a decade and a half as representative of California’s 36th district and became a leading voice on intelligence issues, announced early last month she would take the reigns of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
So, it’s only fitting the Intelligence Community, whose issues Harman publicly championed for years, would give her a Capitol Hill sendoff earlier this week complete with the awarding of the National Intelligence Distinguished Public Service Medal.
Director of National Intelligence Gen. James Clapper recognized Rep. Harman for her leadership — both as chairwoman and ranking member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence — in implementing intelligence reforms in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.
“Representative Harman has been a consummate ally of the Intelligence Community and the brave men and women of our intelligence agencies, demonstrating a deep personal commitment to ensuring the IC had the authorities and resources necessary to protect our nation,” Clapper said.
Harman is no stranger to the IC — or to recognition from it.
The CIA awarded her a medal in 2007, and in a Washington Post article marking her intention to depart the House of Representatives, the newspaper said U.S. spy agencies were “losing a steadfast friend in Congress,” along with “an ally with seniority and deep knowledge of their workings.”
Harman, herself, put it more succinctly
“I live and breathe security 24-7,” she told The Washington Post in 2008.