DNI Representatives Form a Global Network

03.22.16 | 2 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

The Director of National Intelligence exercises authority and maintains global awareness through a network of DNI Representatives deployed across the intelligence community and around the world.

“DNI Representatives serve as the principal advisors to their assigned organizations for IC matters, as a conduit between the DNI and their assigned organizations, and as the DNI’s personal representatives to a variety of U.S. and foreign partners and international organizations,” according to a declassified December 2009 Intelligence Community Directive that was made public last week. See DNI Representatives, ICD 402, 23 December 2009, amended 06 September 2012.

DNI Representatives help to execute DNI policies and to collect information for reporting back to the DNI.

That is, they both “facilitate and monitor the implementation of DNI direction, policies, and procedures” and they “promptly inform the DNI or his designee of significant issues, operations, or incidents.”

And in language that recalls the broadly permissive statutory provision for CIA covert action, the Directive says that DNI Representatives will also “Perform other duties as the DNI determines.”

“Organizations and locations to be considered for DNI Representatives include U.S. Diplomatic Missions; military organizations; organizations where there is a large IC presence, diverse mission requirements, significant interaction with foreign intelligence and security services or international organizations; and other places deemed appropriate,” the Directive says.

A prior version of Intelligence Community Directive 402 (dated May 19, 2009) generated friction between then-DNI Dennis C. Blair and the Central Intelligence Agency because it asserted that the DNI could appoint his own Representatives in foreign countries to serve alongside the CIA station chiefs in those countries. CIA resisted that assertion and reportedly prevailed.

The revised directive now states that “In all cases the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Chief of Station shall serve as the DNI Representative [classified phrase deleted].”

However, “In instances where the DNI believes that a Chief of Station is not performing effectively his essential functions as a DNI Representative, the DNI shall convey his concerns directly to the Director of the CIA, and may recommend that the individual be removed if those concerns have not been resolved to the satisfaction of the DNI within a period of six months.”