CIA Director John Brennan announced fundamental shifts and “bold action” in a restructuring of the CIA, including the creation of a new Directorate integrating digital and cyber capabilities across all mission areas, on Friday.

“The new Directorate will be responsible for overseeing the career development of our digital experts as well as the standards of our digital tradecraft,” Brennan said in an unclassified version of a message to the CIA workforce, Our Agency’s Blueprint for the Future.

CIA Director John Brennan. Photo: White House.
CIA Director John Brennan.
Photo: White House.

The restructuring comes after the director asked in 2014 for officers to examine the Agency’s organization, “particularly its people, processes, and structure,” and to provide a report on how to ensure the organization can optimally carry out its mission in the future. The report guided the CIA leadership to make major organizational changes involving four main interrelated areas or themes.

The creation of the new directorate is part of the second theme: “Embrace and leverage the digital revolution and innovate across our missions.”

The director’s message highlights “Digital technology holds great promise for mission excellence, while posing serious threats to the security of our operations and information, as well as to U.S. interests more broadly. We must place our activities and operations in the digital domain at the very center of all our mission endeavors.”

Brennan also announced the creation of Mission Centers “that will bring the full range of operational, analytic, support, technical, and digital personnel and capabilities to bear on the nation’s most pressing security issues and interests.”

These centers are meant to better integrate CIA capabilities “to bring the best of the Agency to all mission areas,” another main theme.

Each Missions Center will be led by an assistant director, and the centers will not be attached to a single directorate.

The other reorganizational themes include reforming and enhancing training and leadership as well as modernizing by enhancing the executive director’s role in managing day-to-day functions and restructuring the executive secretary’s office.