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Two national commissions’ findings helped to lay the groundwork for the December 2004 intelligence reorganization bill. Most notably, the bill calls for a new Director of National Intelligence (DNI) to head and coordinate the U.S. Intelligence Community. Currently, the DNI has broad responsibilities but only ambiguous authorities. Drawing on a number of projects for various intelligence agencies, as well as additional research, the author of this paper looks at this position of DNI and how it will interact and coordinate with intelligence agencies and other elements of the Executive Branch. In addition to organizational changes, the author looks at the cultural changes that need to take place in the community, including those related to capacity building, issued-based collection, analysis improvement, wider diversity of workforce, and targeting collection. In particular, the paper highlights the importance of moving toward center-based organizations and away from the “stovepipes” of the Cold War. In accomplishing such goals, the DNI will begin to turn his formal authority into real authority.

This research in the public interest was supported by the RAND Corporation, using discretionary funds made possible by the generosity of RAND’s donors and the fees earned on client-funded research.

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