The president-elect of the United States, Joe Biden, has proposed as the new director of the CIA the diplomat William Burns, who has held, among other positions, that of ambassador to Russia and has served in the service of five administrations, both Democratic and Republican.
Biden has described him as “an exemplary diplomat with decades of experience on the world stage” and relies on him to “prevent and deal with” future threats, from cyberattacks from Russia, the challenge posed by China or the activity of terrorist organizations.
“He shares my deep belief that intelligence should be apolitical and that the dedicated intelligence professionals who serve our nation deserve our gratitude and respect,” the president-elect emphasized in a statement. “The American people will sleep peacefully with him as our next CIA director,” he said.
Burns will come to the CIA from the Carnegie Fund for International Peace, a ‘think tank’ where he has been president. He retired from the US foreign service in 2014, after a career spanning more than three decades, and has been an assistant secretary of state on his political resume.
The main intelligence agency of the United States is currently headed by Gina Haspel, who in May 2018 became the first woman to hold that position permanently and not in office. Haspel picked up the witness from Mike Pompeo, current secretary of state.