National Intelligence officials speak at Notre Dame

Published: Sep. 16, 2022 at 10:48 PM EDT
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NOTRE DAME, Ind. (WNDU) - Avril Haines is the first woman to serve as the Director of National Intelligence.

Friday afternoon she spoke at Debartolo Performing Arts Center in front of a well-attended crowd.

People describe Haines as someone who is “diverse” and “expansive.”

During the talk, she said it is “one of the most extraordinary places to work and one of the most challenging places to figure out.”

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence was born out of 9/11.

“...the commission looked at what happened...what could we have done better?...how should we be thinking about our intelligence support to national security issues moving forward?,” said Haines.

Amy McAuliffe, who is chair of the National Intelligence Council, shared her experience too.

“So, this was right after 9/11...in the lead up on the war to Iraq... on the civilian side of the house I was delivering very unpopular messages essentially every day of the week, and it really does become an issue of being analytically objective, checking...any political views you have at the door,” said McAuliffe.

Both were asked how they handle administrations who may resist their findings.

“It’s appropriate for people to disagree, they matter. And you want to make sure that folks have done their homework and understand why it is that somebody across the table thinks differently than you do about it,” said Haines.

They also talked about the Annual Threat Assessment.

“I’ve actually come to the conclusion that this is actually really important; that it is incredibly useful to have something that’s unclassified that represents the work of the community...that looks across the range of threats and issues that we are focused on...How do you help people understand what intelligence gives the policy maker in order to be able to do their job?” said Haines.