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CIA Directors in the USA (all 21 of them)

Updated on January 10, 2009

Pay no attention to the man in the van parked outside your house

America's top detectives!

In 1946, the year after World War Two ended, US president Harry Truman created the director of central intelligence. The next year, the American congress passed the National Security Act of 1947, which reorganized the military branches and the intelligence community in the United States, and created the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

Truman appointed the CIA's first Director and holds the record for having the most number of CIA directors during his presidential term: four.

In 2005, the Director of National Intelligence was created, to whom CIA directors now report.

Only one CIA director has become US President: George H. W. Bush, who served for one year as chief of the CIA under President Gerald Ford in 1976, and became president himself 12 years later.

One CIA director, Robert Gates, who was head of the CIA under president George H. W. Bush, has since gone on to become Defense Secretary under both president George W. Bush . Gates' tenure heading the Defense Department will continue under soon-to-be president Barack Obama.

With current heightened interest and attention over Obama's January, 2009 designation of Leon Panetta to become the nation's next "top spy", we wanted to provide a quick list of the people who have held that post since its inception:

Name (term) [president]

1.  Rear Admiral Sidney Sours, United States Navy (1946) [Harry S. Truman]

2.  Lieutenant General Hoyt Vandenberg, Unites States Army (1946 - 1947) [Harry S. Truman]

3.  Rear Admiral Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter, United States Navy (1947 - 1950) [Harry S. Truman]

4.  General Walter Bedell Smith, Unites States Army (1950 - 1953) [Harry S. Truman, Dwight Eisenhower]

5.  Allen Dulles (1953 - 1961) [Dwight Eisenhower, John Kennedy]

6.  John McCone (1961 - 1965) [John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson]

7.  Vice Admiral William Raborn, United States Navy, retired (1965 - 1966) [Lyndon Johnson]

8.  Richard Helms (1966 - 1973) [Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon]

9.  James Schlesinger (1973) [Richard Nixon]

10.  William Colby (1973 - 1976) [Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford]

11.  George H. W. Bush (1976 - 1977) [Gerald Ford]

12.  Admiral Stansfield Turner, United States Navy, retired (1977 - 1981) [Jimmy Carter]

13.  William Casey (1981 - 1987) [Ronald Reagan]

14.  William Webster (1987 - 1991) [Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush]

15. Robert Gates (1991 -1993) [George H. W. Bush]

16. R. James Woolsey (1993 - 1995) [Bill Clinton]

17. John Deutch (1995 - 1996) [Bill Clinton]

18. George Tenet (1997 - 2004) [Bill Clinton, George W. Bush]

19. Porter Goss (2004 - 2006) [George W. Bush]

20. General Michael Hayden, United States Air Force, retired (2006 - 2009) [George W. Bush]

And, pending congessional approval, America's next CIA Director (as designated by President Elect Obama) will be:

21. Leon Panetta (2009 - ) [Barack Obama]

 

 

 

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