President-elect Joe Biden announced Monday morning that he will nominate ambassador William Burns to serve as his director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
“Bill Burns is an exemplary diplomat with decades of experience on the world stage keeping our people and our country safe and secure,” Biden wrote in a statement. “He shares my profound belief that intelligence must be apolitical and that the dedicated intelligence professionals serving our nation deserve our gratitude and respect.”
The president-elect claimed that “Burns will bring the knowledge, judgment, and perspective we need to prevent and confront threats before they can reach our shores,” and that “the American people will sleep soundly with him as our next CIA Director.” (RELATED: Here’s What You Need To Know About Biden’s Foreign Policy Team)
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris called Burns “a national security expert with decades of experience serving under Democratic and Republican presidents,” adding that he “has a deep understanding of the global threats and challenges facing our country. He will lead the CIA with independence and integrity, always honoring our nation’s intelligence professionals.”
Burns, a 33-year State Department veteran, served as the U.S. ambassador to Jordan for former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, and U.S. ambassador to Russia for Bush as well. He has a long relationship with Avril Haines, Biden’s Director of National Intelligence appointee.
CNN noted that Burns, then serving as deputy secretary of state, stood in for then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at a 2012 House hearing during the Benghazi investigation.
“We learned some very hard and painful lessons in Benghazi,” he testified at the time. “We are already acting on them. We have to do better. We owe it to our colleagues who lost their lives in Benghazi.”