President-elect Joe Biden will appoint Avril Haines as Director of National Intelligence, making Haines the first woman to lead the agency, according to Biden’s presidential transition page.
The position was created after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to oversee the presidential intelligence briefing process, according to NBC.
Haines served in top national security positions during the Obama administration, including as Principal Deputy National Security Advisor and Assistant to the President in 2015 to 2017, when she also led the National Security Council’s Deputies Committee.
While serving as deputy chief counsel to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee between 2007 and 2008, Haines met Biden, who was a chairman at the time.
Haines has also previously served as deputy CIA director between 2013 to 2017. She has a degree in physics from the University of Chicago and a law degree from Georgetown University, and served on numerous advisory groups, including the Nuclear Threat Initiative’s Bio Advisory Group and Refugees International Advisory Council.
Haines has expressed concern about the Trump administration’s alleged politicization of the intelligence community, writing in Foreign Policy in April 2020 that “Trump has repeatedly pressured the intelligence community to present analytic judgments consistent with his views, rather than those of its expert analysts.”
She had spoken in favor of Gina Haspel for the position of CIA director in 2018 despite opposition from some Democrats due to Haspel’s overseeing of a CIA black site in Thailand where detainees were tortured by interrogators under her command, NBC reported.