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 Senate majority 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Obama nominated Haines to serve as Legal Adviser of the Department of State, although the nomination was later withdrawn in favor of naming her as Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.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 Advisor. At the end of President Obama’s administration, Haines was appointed to multiple posts at Columbia University.

President Joe Biden nominated her as the Director of National Intelligence. The Senate confirmed her, and she assumed office on January 21, 2021.

She is married to David Davighi. She is Jewish.

In the News…

The Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines appeared before the Senate Intelligence Committee alongside other leaders from the U.S. intelligence community to discuss the 2024 Annual Threat Assessment report. 

Director Haines highlighted “an accelerating strategic competition with major authoritarian powers that are actively working to undermine the rules-based order and open international system that the United States and our partners rely on for trade commerce, the free flow of information and accountability to the truth.“

She also outlined “intense and unpredictable transnational challenges such as climate change, corruption, narcotics trafficking, health security, terrorism, and cybercrime that often interact with traditional state-based political, economical, and security challenges.“

Director Haines noted that the “challenges are affected by trends in new and emerging technologies, environmental changes, and economic strain that are stoking instability and make it that much more challenging for us to forecast the development and their implications.“

She concluded, “These dynamics are putting unprecedented burdens on the institutions and relationships that the United States relies on to manage such challenges, and perhaps more than ever highlight the need for sustained U.S. leadership to uphold the rules-based order.“

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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