The idea of a Director of National Intelligence (DNI) dates to 1955 when a blue-ribbon study commissioned by Congress recommended that the Director of Central Intelligence should employ a deputy to run the CIA so that the director could focus on coordinating the overall intelligence effort. This notion emerged as a consistent theme in many subsequent studies of the Intelligence Community commissioned by both the legislative and executive branches over the next five decades. It was the attacks of September 11, 2001, however, that finally moved forward the longstanding call for major intelligence reform and the creation of a Director of National Intelligence.
Post-9/11 investigations included a joint Congressional inquiry and the independent National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (better known as the 9/11 Commission). The report of the 9/11 Commission in July 2004 proposed sweeping change in the Intelligence Community including the creation of a National Intelligence Director (NID). Very soon after the report was released, the federal government moved forward to undertake reform.
President Bush signed four Executive Orders in August 2004, which strengthened and reformed the Intelligence Community as much as possible without legislation. In Congress, both the House and Senate passed bills with major amendments to the National Security Act of 1947. Intense negotiations to reconcile the two bills ultimately led to the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (IRTPA), which President Bush signed into law on December 17. In February 2005, the President announced that John D. Negroponte, ambassador to Iraq, was his nominee to be the first Director of National Intelligence and Lt. Gen. Michael V. Hayden, USAF, as the first Principal Deputy DNI. On April 21, 2005, in the Oval Office, Amb. Negroponte and Gen. Hayden were sworn in, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) began operations on April 22, 2005.
The ODNI provides technical and administrative support to the Special Cyber Operations Research and Engineering Interagency Working Group. It serves as the intelligence community focal point for offensive cyber operations strategic planning, policy coordination, and interagency coordination for implementing National Security Presidential Directive 38 (NSPD 38). Its core mission is to lead the Intelligence Community in intelligence integration.
"The Office of the Director of National Intelligence is the lead coordinator for intelligence support during a significant cyber incident, acting through the Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center. Intelligence support and related activities include providing support to federal asset and threat agencies and facilitate the building of situational threat awareness and sharing of related intelligence; the integrated analysis of threat trends and events; the identification of knowledge gaps; and the ability to degrade or mitigate adversary threat capabilities."
The ODNI includes several components:
- Four Deputy Directors of National Intelligence (DDNIs), each with a unique focus.
- Centers, including the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), the Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive (ONCIX), and the National Counterproliferation Center (NCPC), each responsible for IC-wide coordination and support.
- Mission Managers for specified countries, regions, topics, and functional issues.
- Associate Directors of National Intelligence (ADNIs), including Chief Financial Officer, Chief Information Officer, and Chief Human Capital Officer.
- A Civil Liberties and Privacy Office, as established by the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (IRTPA).
In addition, the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence is dual-hatted as the Director of Defense Intelligence (DDI) within the ODNI, and serves in this capacity as the principal advisor to the DNI on defense intelligence matters.
- "Overview" section: National Intelligence: A Consumer's Guide-2009, at 22-23.