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The Director of National Intelligence (DNI), in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, serves as the head of the Intelligence Community (IC). The DNI also acts as the principal advisor to the President; the National Security Council, and the Homeland Security Council for intelligence matters related to national security; and oversees and directs the implementation of the National Intelligence Program. The DNI is intended to establish the intelligence community’s priorities with clear and measurable goals and objectives as well as provide leadership on cross-cutting intelligence community issues.

The DNI, in accordance with Executive Order 13467, is responsible, as the Security Executive Agent (SecEA), for the development, implementation, and oversight of effective, efficient, and uniform policies and procedures governing the conduct of investigations and adjudications for eligibility for access to classified information and eligibility to hold a sensitive position. While the DNI is focused primarily on the Intelligence Community (IC), as SecEA his responsibilities are further extended to cover personnel security processes within all agencies, government-wide.

The DNI is the Chairman of the National Foreign Intelligence Board and issues instructions in the form of Director of Central Intelligence Directives (DCID) or Director of Central Intelligence Policy statements affecting intelligence policies and activities. The DNI is charged by statute[1] with protecting intelligence sources and methods from unauthorized access.

The President appoints the DNI with the advice and consent of the Senate. The Director is assisted by a Senate-confirmed Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence (PDDNI), appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate.

The DNI coordinates intelligence matters related to the Department of Defense (DoD) with the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence (USD(I)). This individual serves as the Principal Staff Assistant and advisor to the Secretary of Defense and the Deputy Secretary of Defense on all intelligence, counterintelligence and security, and other intelligence-related matters. The USD(I) provides oversight and policy guidance for all DoD intelligence activities.

Organized crime[]

In April 2009, the National Security Council tasked the Director of National Intelligence with authoring an NIE on Threats to U.S. National Security from International Organized Crime. While the primary focus of this NIE is to identify threats posed by international organized crime syndicates, the report includes a section on the relationship between crime and terrorism. According to national security and intelligence community leaders supporting the NIE analytic effort, issues that this section of the NIE will cover include an attempt to address questions related to possible crime-terrorism partnering arrangements, including possible implications of terrorist organization and criminal syndicate partnering arrangements; types of logistics and other support criminal syndicates provide to terrorist organizations; whether both criminals and terrorists are circumventing border security controls for purposes of material and personnel smuggling activities; what the likely trend over the next five years may be for crime-terrorism collaboration; and possible opportunities and countermeasures the U.S. government could exploit to counteract a crime-terrorism nexus.


  1. 50 U.S.C. §403-1(i)(1).

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