CIA to undertake sweeping reforms to meet new age challenges

In order to meet 21st-century challenges like those posed by non-state actors, US' top intelligence agency CIA is set to undertake major reforms and structural changes, including setting up an exclusive university for training spies.

Washington: In order to meet 21st-century challenges like those posed by non-state actors, US' top intelligence agency CIA is set to undertake major reforms and structural changes, including setting up an exclusive university for training spies.

These initiatives are driven by two fundamental shifts in the national security landscape, CIA Director John Brennan said in a message to the agency's workforce.

"The first is the marked increase in the range, diversity, complexity and immediacy of issues confronting policymakers; and the second is the unprecedented pace and impact of technological advancements," Brennan said as he released an unclassified version of the CIA's Blueprint for the Future.

"We must make it easier for our officers to acquire new skills, to strengthen their leadership abilities and to deepen their distinctive tradecrafts while also broadening their understanding of CIA, the intelligence profession, and the national security mission," Brennan said, adding that the CIA needs to invest in its people by enhancing talent and leadership development.

Towards this end, Brennan announced the establishing of a new Talent Development Center of Excellence to bring under one roof CIA efforts to improve the recruitment, performance management, training, and leadership development of diverse workforce.

"Place all training under CIA University and create more opportunities for learning across disciplines to help us grow well-rounded intelligence officers. CIA University will be headed by a chancellor with the mandate to educate and train officers able to function in integrated mission environments and to develop into the next generation of Agency leaders," he said.

"Create more systematic methods to better develop leaders and to integrate our activities across the Agency, starting with a plan to make multi-disciplinary exposure and experience the 'new normal' at CIA," the blue print said.

"Reset our expectations for leaders at all levels, stressing the importance of developing and empowering our people, ensuring accountability, being committed to continuous improvement and building a culture in which we are all intelligence officers first, regardless of our Directorate, position, or area of expertise," it said.

Brennan said digital technology holds great promise for mission excellence, while posing serious threats to the security of operations and information, as well as to US interests more broadly.

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