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18
May

FBI IAA Letter to Attorney General and Lawmakers: Desired Traits for Next Director

Posted by FBIIAA on: May 18th, 2017

17 May 2017

 

The Honorable Jeff Sessions

United States Attorney General

United States Department of Justice

Washington, DC 20510

 

The Honorable Rod Rosenstein

Deputy United States Attorney General

United States Department of Justice

Washington, DC 20510

 

The Honorable Charles Grassley

Chairman

Committee on the Judiciary

United States Senate

Washington, DC 20510

 

The Honorable Dianne Feinstein

Ranking Member

Committee on the Judiciary

United States Senate

Washington, DC 20510

 

The Honorable Richard Burr

Chairman

Select Committee on Intelligence

United States Senate

Washington, DC 20510

 

The Honorable Mark Warner

Vice Chairman

Select Committee on Intelligence

United States Senate

Washington, DC 20510

 

The Honorable Devin Nunes

Chairman

Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence

United States House of Representatives

Washington, DC 20510

 

The Honorable Adam Schiff

Ranking Member

Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence

United States House of Representatives

Washington, DC 20510

 

On behalf of the FBI Intelligence Analysts Association (FBI IAA), I am writing to provide our views regarding the selection of the next FBI Director. As you know, the FBI’s intelligence analysts (IAs) are integral to the Bureau’s dual intelligence and law enforcement mission. Totaling more than 3,100 intelligence professionals, IAs are the FBI’s second-largest employee group. We share your commitment to the security of our nation and welcome the opportunity to provide input into this important selection which will shape the future of the FBI.

The FBI is at critical juncture in its history. The next Director will greatly impact public perceptions of the FBI’s neutrality, which ensures the public’s trust in our ability to carry out our mission. We believe it is essential that the next Director be nonpartisan and maintain the FBI’s traditional independence. Therefore, it is vital that the next Director come without attachment to, or a record of service, as a partisan elected official in either political party. As intelligence professionals we analyze information to inform decision making for leaders. We count on our leaders to consider our information objectively without the distortion that often comes from a political prism. We need no less from our next FBI Director.

The next Director will also determine whether the bureau is able to complete its transformation into a threat-based, intelligence-driven national security organization. The FBI IAA believes there are three essential traits —enumerated below — that the next Director must possess to successfully lead the FBI in the post-9/11 environment. We respectfully ask that these qualities be carefully considered in the selection of the next FBI Director.

Trait One: The Next Director Must Have a Deep Understanding of and Commitment to the FBI’s Dual Intelligence and Law Enforcement Mission

To secure America’s future, the next FBI Director must possess a deep understanding of and commitment to the Bureau’s dual intelligence and law enforcement mission. It is vital that the next Director view intelligence as a core mission of the FBI, on par with law enforcement, and continue former Director Comey’s priority initiative of integrating intelligence with operations. To achieve this goal, the FBI IAA strongly emphasizes the importance of a leader who is neutral in regard to internal cultural bias and to opinions and influence that may be exerted by external stakeholders.

While significant progress has been made in improving the FBI’s intelligence capabilities since 9/11, the Bureau has not yet fully established intelligence analysis as a core mission of the organization. Rather than being a driver of operational activity, intelligence is still typically seen as an enabler to the law enforcement mission. However, to be “intelligence-driven” in the FBI cannot mean intelligence should be a surrogate or a component of the law enforcement mission. The new Director must demonstrate his or her understanding that commitment to intelligence advancements are paramount by both words and actions. He or she must transcend any cultural pressures that might impede this nascent cultural shift.

To unify and strengthen the FBI’s intelligence workforce, the next Director must fully implement the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation and establish a dedicated FBI Intelligence Career Service (ICS), under the leadership of an intelligence professional. The FBI IAA believes that a more mature and independent ICS is necessary to elevate the importance of the intelligence mission and to secure excellence in intelligence into the core ethos of the FBI. The next Director must nurture and develop the ICS into a cohesive FBI intelligence service with an identity, unified mission, and commitment to intelligence on par with other US Intelligence Community member agencies. A strong, independent ICS would allow the FBI to more clearly assess the national security and criminal threats to the nation and to better integrate strategic intelligence to drive operations. In addition, developing an outstanding cadre of intelligence program leaders and giving them requisite authorities would forge the world-class intelligence program the American people expect of the FBI.

Trait Two: The Next Director Must Strengthen a Culture of Collaboration within the FBI and Across the Law Enforcement and Intelligence Communities

To successfully lead the FBI, the next Director must be committed to strengthening a culture of collaboration that engages the talents of the entire 36,500 member FBI workforce. He or she must change human capital practices to better utilize, recognize, and reward the talents of all employees, and improve collaboration between them. Due to the increasing complexity of the FBI’s global mission, the Bureau is increasingly reliant on its non-agent employees, especially those with technical and professional backgrounds. Non-agent personnel now comprise more than 22,000 employees and make up more than 60 percent of the FBI workforce. This diverse non-agent workforce includes not only intelligence analysts, but staff operations specialists, language analysts, investigative specialists, computer scientists, information technology experts, attorneys, accountants, and a range of other professionals, all of whom make important contributions to the FBI.

The Director must also collaborate and build strong partnerships with domestic and foreign law enforcement and intelligence agencies. He or she must be committed to improving intelligence collection and information-sharing across the entire FBI and with domestic and foreign partners. As part of this effort, the Director should strongly advocate for more FBI personnel to engage in joint duty assignments and training with other agencies and to pursue assignments overseas.

Trait Three: The Next Director Must Be Innovative, Adaptable, and Forward-Leaning to Effectively Target the Nation’s Criminal and National Security Threats

The next Director must be innovative, adaptable, and forward-leaning to effectively lead a global organization facing an ever-changing set of diverse and sophisticated threats. The FBI’s jurisdiction is broad, spanning counterterrorism, counterintelligence, criminal, cyber, and weapons of mass destruction programs, all of which are missions of national importance. In today’s rapidly changing information environment—in part caused by the globalization of encrypted technology—the Director must quickly adapt the FBI’s priorities and develop new ways of doing business.

The Director must recognize the need for independent, unbiased, and objective intelligence analysis that drives decision making at all levels of the FBI. America’s security requires that FBI operations be guided by the best possible assessment of the threat. Intelligence must drive operations by identifying and anticipating threats and vulnerabilities based on our nation’s criminal and national security concerns. As part of this effort, the new Director must continue former Director Comey’s initiative of ensuring a 21st century information technology system worthy of the United States’ premier domestic intelligence agency.

 

Thank you for considering the FBI IAA’s views on this important matter. If you have any questions, please contact the FBI IAA at (855) 432-4422.

 

Sincerely,

 

Patrick R. Carberry

Board of Directors

FBI Intelligence Analysts Association

 

CC: The Honorable Dan Coats

Director of National Intelligence

Office of the Director of National Intelligence

Washington, DC 20511

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