Biden picks veteran diplomat William Burns as CIA director
President-elect Joseph R. Biden has selected William J. Burns, a career State Department official who led the U.S. delegation in secret talks with Iran, to run the Central Intelligence Agency.
“The American people will sleep soundly with him as our next CIA Director,” Biden said in a statement.
If confirmed, Burns would become the first leader in the CIA’s history whose lifelong experience comes from the State Department.
“Bill Burns is an exemplary diplomat with decades of experience on the world stage keeping our people and our country safe and secure,” Biden said. “He shares my profound belief that intelligence must be apolitical and that the dedicated intelligence professionals serving our nation deserve our gratitude and respect.”
Biden was drawn to Burns because of his diplomatic experience and his perceived ability to restore credibility to the intelligence agency in the post-Trump era, people familiar with the matter said, along with his expertise on Russia. His selection would bypass other contenders with more formal experience in the intelligence field.