Avril Haines, Director of National Intelligence

Avril Haines

Director of National Intelligence

Avril Danica Haines was born in August 1969 in New York City. She earned an undergraduate degree in physics from the University of Chicago. She worked on repairing car engines at a mechanic shop and also took flying lessons. She moved to Baltimore and enrolled as a doctoral student at Johns Hopkins. She later dropped out and opened an independent bookstore and café. She earned a Juris Doctor at the Georgetown University Law Center.

She clerked at the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, then went to work for the Office of the Legal Adviser of the Department of State. For two years, she was deputy chief counsel for the majority Senate Democrats under then-chairman Joe Biden and worked for the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.

She spent two years at the State Department as the assistant legal adviser on treaty affairs before being appointed to serve in the office of the White House Counsel as Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Counsel to the President for National Security Affairs.

President Obama nominated Haines to serve as Legal Adviser of the Department of State, although the nomination was later withdrawn in favor of naming her as Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. She was later named Deputy National Security Adviser, the first woman to hold that position.

At the end of the Obama administration, Haines was appointed to multiple posts at Columbia University, ultimately becoming a fellow at the Human Rights Institute and National Security Law Program there.

She was nominated by President Joe Biden to be his Director of National Intelligence. She was confirmed by the Senate in an 84-10 vote, and assumed office on January 21, 2021.

She is married to David Davighi. She is Jewish.

In the News…

An annual worldwide threats assessment made public by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence identified China and Russia as well as Iran and North Korea as continuing to pose major threats to national security, homing in on competition with China as a particularly challenging threat to the United States.

“Beijing, Moscow, Tehran, and Pyongyang have demonstrated the capability and intent to advance their interests at the expense of the United States and its allies, despite the pandemic,” the U.S. intelligence agencies reported. “China increasingly is a near-peer competitor, challenging the United States in multiple arenas — especially economically, militarily, and technologically — and is pushing to change global norms.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted life worldwide, with far-reaching effects that extend well beyond global health to the economic, political, and security spheres,” the report stated. “We expect COVID-19 to remain a threat to populations worldwide until vaccines and therapeutics are widely distributed. The economic and political implications of the pandemic will ripple through the world for years.”

The report was released in advance of hearings before the Senate Intelligence Committee where Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, FBI Director Christopher Wray, and CIA Director William Burns are scheduled to be among the witnesses.

Contact this Leader…

Did you pray for Director Haines today? You can let her know at:

The Honorable Avril Haines
Director of National Intelligence
Washington, DC 20511


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