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Washington Appoints First Woman as Acting Director of NCTC

Washington Appoints First Woman as Acting Director of NCTC

Monday, 23 March, 2020 - 09:45
A general view of the operations center of the National Counterterrorism Center, on June 10, 2005. Reuters file photo
Washington - Heba El Koudsy

Lora Shiao will be the first woman to hold the post of acting director of the National Counterterrorism Center, a spokeswoman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), announced on Sunday.

Officials from the administration of US President Donald Trump said that Shiao has two decades of experience in the Intelligence Community.

The National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) serves as the primary organization in the US government for integrating and analyzing all intelligence pertaining to terrorism.

The Center was established in 2001 in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks during the term of former US President George W. Bush. It has more than 1,000 employees.

Shiao served as Deputy Director for Intelligence from 2016 to 2019, leading the Center’s all-source analysis of the capabilities and intentions of terrorist actors worldwide to inform national policymakers and support the efforts of the Intelligence Community (IC), military, law enforcement, and homeland security partners.

Her appointment came after Russell Travers, a longtime intelligence professional, was on Wednesday dismissed from his post as acting director of the Center.

Travers, ousted by acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell, assumed the acting director position last August and has reportedly resisted White House pressure to cut personnel at the NCTC.

His dismissal led to controversy over Trump’s intentions to get rid of professional experts working at the center and replace them with members loyal to him.

On Sunday, an ODNI spokeswoman, Maura Beard, said in an email that Shiao will begin serving as acting director on April 3.

Shiao’s two decades of analytic and operational experience serving in the IC include previous assignments at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Defense, as well as joint duty rotations at other IC agencies.

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