Profiles in Leadership: Directors of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and its Predecessors - Iran Hostage Crisis, Gulf War, Iran-Contra, Iraq War, 9/11, Seymour Hersh, Family Jewels
The profiles depict the 23 leaders in the context of their times, describing their triumphs and their setbacks not in isolation but as elements in a larger drama of domestic politics and foreign affairs. Their stories are inspiring, sometimes sobering, and always fascinating. More
The men who have held the highest office in the Central Intelligence Agency are an eclectic group. They include two Rhodes Scholars and a college dropout, captains of industry and career public servants, Agency veterans and newcomers to the field of intelligence. More than 65 years after the Agency was founded, there is still no established road to the top.
This is just one of the many themes presented in this revealing look at the 23 leaders who have directed the CIA and its forerunners from 1941 to 2012. The publication opens with a profile of Major General William J. Donovan—the legendary intelligence chief who ran the Office of Strategic Services, a precursor of the CIA during World War II—and those of two other intelligence pioneers who, like Donovan, never served at the CIA but helped lay the groundwork for its foundation. The publication then traces the careers of my predecessors in the Director's office, who were known as Directors of Central Intelligence until that title was replaced in 2005 with Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, after the establishment of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
The profiles depict the 23 leaders in the context of their times, describing their triumphs and their setbacks not in isolation but as elements in a larger drama of domestic politics and foreign affairs. Their stories are inspiring, sometimes sobering, and always fascinating. They also feature, of course, the controversy that seems endemic to the sensitive and challenging work of intelligence.
Taken together, these profiles offer an illuminating account drawn from the full unclassified record. It is written in broad strokes but with enough detail to spark the kind of informed debate that has always been a hallmark of the CIA. Since its inception, our Agency has been rooted in a culture of inquiry and constant self-examination. This work stands as a fine example of that honorable tradition.
Topics and subjects covered include: World War II, Cold War, Korean War, Vietnam War, U-2, NRO, Watergate, Seymour Hersh, Family Jewels, Iran Hostage Crisis, Persian Gulf War, Iran-Contra, 9/11, Iraq War.
William J. Donovan * Sidney W. Souers * Hoyt S. Vandenberg * Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter * Walter Bedell Smith * Allen W. Dulles * John A. McCone * William F. Raborn Jr. * Richard M. Helms * James R. Schlesinger * William E. Colby * George H.W. Bush * Stansfield Turner * William J. Casey * William H. Webster * Robert M. Gates * R. James Woolsey * John M. Deutch * George J. Tenet * Porter J. Goss * Michael V. Hayden * Leon E. Panetta * David H. Petraeus * John O. Brennan