CIA failing to recruit minorities, says chief

WASHINGTON: The CIA has done a poor job of hiring and promoting minorities and that lack of diversity is undercutting the spy agency’s intelligence mission, according to Director John Brennan.


The Central Intelligence Agency’s chief released a study on Tuesday that painted a stark picture of an organisation that does not reflect America, an agency with a largely white workforce whose senior executive ranks are only 10.8 per cent minority.

The agency has seen the percentage of minorities hired slip since 2008, despite previous diversity pushes by past directors. “We didn’t achieve the goals and objectives that we had as an institution,” John Brennan said.

He vowed to change course, promising to hold senior managers accountable for hiring and promoting minority candidates. He discussed the issue with a small group of reporters at CIA headquarters.

The study was led by Vernon Jordan, a prominent African-American figure in Washington who serves on CIA advisory boards. Retired Admiral Mike Mullen, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also participated.

John Brennan acknowledged that some employees would greet his move with cynicism, having heard such rhetoric before. “We’re not kidding,” he said. “This is real, this time.”