CIA Announces First ‘Digital’ Directorate

CIA Director John Brennan

CIA Director John Brennan Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

The digital office is the first new directorate in more than 50 years.

The Central Intelligence Agency has announced the creation of its first new directorate in more than 50 years.

The new Directorate for Digital Innovation is “designed to accelerate the infusion of advanced digital and cyber capabilities” across the agency, and joins the existing analysis, operations, support, and science and technology directorates, according to a press statement.

Nextgov’s sister site, Defense One, has an exclusive interview with the new director of the office, CIA Deputy Director Andrew Hallman.

“A digital world challenges the way we work in a clandestine world,” Hallman told Defense One’s Patrick Tucker. “We have to come up with new ways to operate in a much more-connected environment and still be clandestine.”

The new office will focus on three areas, Hallman said: Improving CIA agent’s tech skills, improving data governance and harnessing the power of big data. (The full article is well worth checking out).

CIA first began taking steps to organize the new directorate seven months ago.

In a statement, CIA Director John Brennan called the opening of the new digital office “a key milestone,” in the agency’s efforts to modernize operations.

The digital directorate will play an important role in addressing how the CIA and intelligence community at large address the pace of technological advancement, and is the result of a 90-day internal review that recommended the CIA “embrace and leverage the digital revolution” and “modernize the way it does business.”

In other words, the CIA is both acknowledging the challenges and opportunities provided by the digital revolution while making itself a more attractive destination for data geeks, analysts and cyber gurus.