Avril Haines will appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday to be considered for director of national intelligence.
Read excerpts from her opening statement as prepared:
If I have the honor of being confirmed, I look forward to leading the Intelligence Community on behalf of the American people — to safeguarding their interests, advancing their security and prosperity, and to defending our democracy, our freedoms and our values.
To be effective, the DNI must never shy away from speaking truth to power — even, especially, when doing so may be inconvenient or difficult.
To safeguard the integrity of our Intelligence Community, the DNI must insist that, when it comes to intelligence, there is simply no place for politics — ever.
The DNI must prioritize transparency, accountability, analytic rigor, facilitating oversight and diverse thinking — not as afterthoughts, but as strategic imperatives that bolster our work and our institutions.
To be trusted, the DNI must uphold our democratic values and ensure that the work of the Intelligence Community, mostly done in secret, is ethical, wise, lawful, and effective.
My intention would be to sustain and build on the tremendous work of intelligence professionals by recruiting and retaining diverse talent, promoting innovation in every aspect of our work, and fostering a culture that is ethical, nonpartisan, accountable, and aligned with the values we share as a country.
For instance, we should provide the necessary intelligence to support long-term bipartisan efforts to out-compete China — gaining and sharing insight into China’s intentions and capabilities, while also supporting more immediate efforts to counter Beijing’s unfair, illegal, aggressive and coercive actions, as well as its human rights violations, whenever we can.
At the same time, the DNI should see to it that the Intelligence Community’s unique capabilities are brought to bear on the global COVID-19 crisis around the world, while also addressing the long-term challenge of future biological crises — enabling U.S. global health leadership and positioning us to detect future outbreaks before they become pandemics.
And here at home, we must strengthen our cybersecurity, safeguard our critical infrastructure, and turn the ongoing technological revolution from a threat to an advantage by integrating new technologies to improve the capacity and superiority of our intelligence into the future.
Of course, none of these aims can be achieved without a foundation of trust, which requires accountability, including through a support of the Inspector General function, the protection of whistleblowers, and transparency.