STATEMENT FROM DIRECTOR DENNIS C. BLAIR TO THE ODNI AND INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY WORKFORCE
It is with deep regret that I informed the President today that I will step down as Director of National Intelligence effective Friday, May 28th.
I have had no greater honor or pleasure than to lead the remarkably talented and patriotic men and women of the Intelligence Community.
Every day, you have worked tirelessly to provide intelligence support for two wars and to prevent an attack on our homeland.
You are true heroes, just like the members of the Armed Forces, firefighters, and police whose job it is to keep our nation safe.
Your work over the past 16 months has made the Intelligence Community more integrated, agile, and representative of American values. Keep it up – I will be cheering for you.
Dennis C. Blair
WASHINGTON — President Obama's director of national intelligence said Thursday he will step down on May 28. His decision comes just days after a Senate panel released a scathing report outlining critical lapses that allowed an alleged bomber to board a Detroit-bound flight on Christmas Day last year.
In a message to his staff, Dennis Blair said it was with "deep regret" that he informed Obama on Thursday that he would resign.
Blair's position was created after the 9/11 attacks to coordinate the government's disparate intelligence agencies with the goal of preventing future attacks.
His tenure was marked by public turf disputes with CIA Director Leon Panetta over personnel assignments overseas and criticism by lawmakers such as Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., over intelligence agencies' failure to prevent the attempted bombing over Detroit and another in New York City's Times Square on May 1.
Andy Johnson, head of the national security program at the politically moderate think tank Third Way, said Blair "inherited one of the toughest jobs" in government and did well helping to establish counterterrorism programs in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"I am grateful for his leadership," President Obama said in a statement. "During his time as DNI, our intelligence community has performed admirably and effectively."