Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair has announced his resignation effective May 28, 2010. Blair will step down after serving 16 months as the nation’s highest Intelligence Community executive.
“I have had no greater honor or pleasure than to lead the remarkably talented and patriotic men and women of the Intelligence Community,” Blair said. “Every day, you have worked tirelessly to provide intelligence support for two wars and to prevent an attack on our homeland. You are true heroes, just like the members of the Armed Forces, firefighters, and police whose job it is to keep our nation safe.”
The DNI serves as the head of the U.S. Intelligence Community and directs and oversees the implementation of the National Intelligence Program while also acting as an intelligence advisor to the president, the Homeland Security Council and the National Security Council.
“ADM Dennis Blair served our nation with integrity and honor,” Melissa Hathaway of Hathaway Global Strategies and former intelligence community official, said. ” He understood the threat to our core infrastructure and facilitated information flow to the private sector so that they were better armed [and could begin to defend themselves]. I hope that the next DNI understands what is at risk as much as Director Blair and Director McConnell did.”
President Barack Obama released a statement saying: “Dennis Blair has a remarkable record of service to the United States, and I am grateful for his leadership as Director of National Intelligence … During his time as DNI, our intelligence community has performed admirably and effectively at a time of great challenges to our security, and I have valued his sense of purpose and patriotism.”
Blair’s resignation leaves the senior U.S. intelligence post vacant and it is not yet clear who will be selected to replace Blair.