The US Senate confirmed Gina Haspel as the first female director of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) on May 17, 2018.
Haspel’s nomination was confirmed in a 54-45 vote, following a difficult nomination process that reopened an emotional debate about brutal interrogation techniques in one of the darkest chapters of CIA’s history.
The vote split both parties, with six Democrats joining most Republicans in the CIA veteran’s support.
About Gina Haspel
• Haspel joined the CIA in January 1985 as a reports officer. She held several undercover overseas positions, for many of which she was station chief.
• She was previously serving as Deputy Director under former CIA Director Mike Pompeo in the beginning of Trump’s administration.
• She became Acting Director following Pompeo's resignation to become United States Secretary of State and was nominated by President Donald Trump to become the official CIA Director.
• On May 17, 2018, she was confirmed as the CIA Director, making her the first woman to hold the post on a full-time basis.
• She was the second female Deputy Director in history.
• From 2004 to 2005, Haspel was Deputy Chief of the National Resources Division.
Haspel courted controversy for her role as chief of a CIA black site in Thailand in 2002, where prisoners were tortured with brutal interrogation techniques.
The prison was a part of the George W Bush administration’s extraordinary rendition program after the September 11 attacks on the twin towers.
About Central Intelligence Agency
• It is a foreign intelligence service of the United States government, which is tasked with gathering, processing, and analyzing national security information from around the world, primarily through the use of human intelligence (HUMINT).
• Unlike the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which is a domestic security service, the CIA has no law enforcement function and is mainly focused on overseas intelligence gathering, with only limited domestic intelligence collection.
• Though it is not the only U.S. government agency specializing in HUMINT, the CIA serves as the national manager for coordination of HUMINT activities across the US intelligence community.
• The CIA is also the only agency authorised by the law to carry out and oversee covert action at the behest of the President.
• The CIA has increasingly expanded its role in the current scenario, including conducting covert paramilitary operations.