CIA Deputy Director for Operations Announces Retirement
McLean, VA, 4 Jun — James L. Pavitt, a 31-year veteran of CIA who has served as the Agency’s Deputy Director for Operations (DDO) for nearly five years, announced today that he will be retiring this summer.
Pavitt, 58, who was named DDO in August 1999 after serving as the Associate Deputy Director for Operations (ADDO) for two years, has served longer in that position than any DDO in the last 30 years. Pavitt made the decision to retire about a month ago and his departure is unrelated to Director of Central Intelligence George J. Tenet’s resignation announcement yesterday.
In remarks today, Pavitt said he “could not be prouder of the men and women of America’s clandestine service.”
“I am so proud of the risks they have taken and the extraordinary work they do, often under the most difficult and dangerous circumstances imaginable, to keep our nation safe,” Pavitt said. “The creativity, resourcefulness, and courage they display each and every day to acquire the information our country needs has saved many lives. The unique work they do must remain secret, but people need to know that they are a national treasure. It has been a privilege to lead them for the last five years.”
Director Tenet said today, “Jim Pavitt’s contributions to this Agency and to the country during a long and distinguished career have been enormous. He has led our country’s clandestine service with verve and creativity, rebuilding the infrastructure to recruit, train, and sustain officers who collect the human intelligence that is so vital to protecting our nation and American interests. He has worked tirelessly to strengthen our collection capabilities, and it has been an honor to serve with him.”
Pavitt, a native of St. Louis, joined the CIA in 1973 as a Career Trainee. He served in a variety of intelligence assignments in Europe, Asia, and Headquarters. In 1990, Pavitt was detailed to the National Security Council as the Director for Intelligence Programs. In June 1992, President Bush appointed him Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and NSC Senior Director for Intelligence Programs.
Prior to becoming the ADDO in 1995, he served as Deputy Director of the DCI Nonproliferation Center, which is now known as the DCI Weapons Intelligence, Nonproliferation, and Arms Control Center. Before that, he served as Chief of the Counterproliferation Division in the Directorate of Operations.
Director Tenet announced today that Stephen R. Kappes, who has served as ADDO since June 2002, will succeed Pavitt as DDO when he retires. Kappes, 52, joined the CIA in 1981 after serving as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1976 to 1981. He has held a variety of operational and managerial assignments at Headquarters and overseas, including the Near East, South Asia, and Europe. Prior to being named ADDO, he served concurrently as Chief of the Counterintelligence Center and Associate Deputy Director for Operations for Counterintelligence.
During his Agency career, Kappes has studied and speaks Farsi and Russian.
A successor to Kappes has not yet been announced.