My Choice for the Next D/CIA

Opinion

Marc Polymeropoulos served 26 years in the CIA before retiring from the Senior Intelligence Service in June 2019.  His positions included field and headquarters operational assignments covering the Middle East, Europe, Eurasia and CounterTerrorism. 

OPINION — I am not agnostic about the potential nomination of Michael Morell to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. I am in fact thrilled with that prospect.  For a simple reason. He believes in people, which ultimately is our most important resource at CIA.  It is not unmanned aircraft, satellites, or spy gear that is our foundation. Human capital is what makes CIA great, from the line analyst to the junior support officer to the first tour operations officer at the tip of the spear.  I’ll provide three real world and personal examples that demonstrate Michael’s devotion to the principle that our people come first.  First, after the tragic events in Khowst, Afghanistan on December 30, 2009, he was involved in helping heal and comfort both the workforce and the families that were so terribly affected.  In one instance, I asked him personally to meet with the family of an officer who was killed, who worked directly for me.  The mother of my officer expressed reservation that she would be forgotten, after time had passed.  She was scared that the memory of her son would fade as the years went by.  Michael looked at her face to face and promised her that this would never happen.  That we never forget those that passed, nor the families that made the ultimate sacrifice.  And you know what?  He lived up to this promise. After his retirement, several years after the event, he and I in fact travelled together on our own dime to see the family and participate in a fundraiser that they organized in the southern US.  It was an amazing night, full of laughter and tears and great memories.  Money was raised, and our officer was remembered in the finest of fashions.  As I watched Michael speak at the event, I had tears in my eyes, because I recalled that Michael never forgot his promise to the family.  That is the kind of Director he will be, as that is the kind of person that he is.

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