NORMAN — Commitment to the U.S. and the drive to protect are more than elements of the job. This passion for safety and security is a part of all Central Intelligence Agency officers’ identities, John Brennan, CIA director, said Wednesday night at the University of Oklahoma President Associate’s Dinner.
Brennan was sworn in as director of the CIA on March 8. Before being named director, Brennan served for four years at the White House as assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism.
In that role, he advised the president on counterterrorism strategy and helped coordinate the U.S. government’s approach to homeland security, including its policies for responding to terrorism, cyber attacks, natural disasters and pandemics.
University of Oklahoma President David L. Boren said Brennan has always been sensitive to work within the boundaries of the law and he admires Brennan for working in a field in which successes are never known.
“Your successes are usually never known because you use technology such that your successes must remain secret. Your mistakes are public,” Boren said. “They are very quickly known and you have individual accountability for what you’ve done. You answer to the history books. John represents the best of those working for our country.”
Brennan began his talk by speaking about the profound commitment it takes to serve with the CIA. With more than 30 years in the business, Brennan said few professions have the loyalty that the CIA has.
“While I enjoyed worked in the private sector, something was always missing. (Intelligence work) had become a part of my identity,” he said.
Brennan said CIA officers are a diverse group. Eighty current CIA employees are graduates of OU and Brennan said no officer fits a single profile, but all are intelligent, hard working and committed to their country.