DNI Coats and PDDNI Gordon announce IC transformation

In a town hall with the ODNI workforce on March 14, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence Sue Gordon announced the findings of a comprehensive review of the Agency, initiating a roughly 100-day transition period as the first step in implementing ODNI’s transformation.

“Our transformation will position us to drive the community on the most critical issues, to streamline and focus the agency in order to reinvest in priority areas, and to create a more effective ODNI that delivers impact and value with every action,” DNI Coats said.

In his confirmation hearing last year, DNI Coats committed to reviewing the ODNI, testifying, “I believe every government agency must constantly review its operations, and I’ll be taking a look at not only the ODNI but the entire IC and to learn how we can do things more efficiently and effectively.”

Since then, under the leadership of PDDNI Sue Gordon, the ODNI has developed a transformation plan that builds upon the Agency’s strengths, including changes to the ODNI’s structure, governance, and processes—all rooted in a foundational set of values and leadership development model to guide workforce development.

At the outset, the transformation team sought insight from throughout the IC about the ODNI’s strengths and weaknesses. The team then identified four core functions of the ODNI: integrating intelligence, enabling national security partnerships, driving resource and capability decisions, and developing public engagement and strategies to ensure the IC’s continued effectiveness. The ODNI’s new structure will align to these core functions, with a Deputy Director of National Intelligence leading each of them upon implementation of transformation this summer.
The ODNI’s core principles will guide this implementation:

  • A strategic perspective and over the horizon focus driven by where the IC needs to go to meet the future demands of the nation.
  • Increased internal integration, through an effective and efficient organizational model and governance processes.
  • Accountable, responsive, and efficient decision-makin, relentlessly focused on delivering value and strategic impact.
  • A collaborative approach focused on our unique responsibilities and opportunities to shape and drive IC activities and priorities.
  • The trust and confidence of the IC by creating a culture of excellence and maximizing the talents of our officers, to deliver consistent, strong performance.

During the Town Hall, PDDNI Gordon said, “We’ve never been as good as we are now, but we have to be better.” She noted, “Structure isn’t the only element of transformation,” which is more of a mindset, one that understands where the ODNI and the IC need to go in the future, and is excited about putting in the hard work to get there.

The realities of the dynamic threat environment and pace of innovation demand that the ODNI seize the moment. PDDNI Gordon said, “The goal of the transformation is to shape an ODNI that the founders envisioned, that the Intelligence Community needs, and that the moment demands.”

Source: ODNI