Press Releases

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, delivered the following remarks before the Senate’s unanimous confirmation of Stephanie O’Sullivan to be the Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence (PDDNI):

“Mr. President, I rise to support the nomination of Ms. Stephanie O’Sullivan to be the Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence or “PDDNI.”

The Senate Intelligence Committee has carefully considered her nomination and stands strongly in favor of her nomination.

Position of Principal Deputy DNI

As is the case with many deputies to principals, the Principal Deputy DNI is an extremely important position that has two main responsibilities:  (1) to assist the DNI, and (2) to act on behalf of the DNI in his absence or due to a vacancy in the position. 

In broader terms, the role of the Principal Deputy DNI is a key one to the functioning of the Office of the DNI and in the effective and efficient operation of the Intelligence Community. 

Nomination of Stephanie O’Sullivan

If confirmed, Ms. O’Sullivan will be the fourth Principal Deputy DNI since Congress created the position in 2004.  Like the past Directors of National Intelligence before him, DNI Clapper has made clear the need to have this position filled.  The tasks of managing the Intelligence Community, running the Office of the DNI, and serving as the primary intelligence advisor to the President is more than any one official can fulfill.  It is, at minimum, two full time jobs - hence the need to confirm a deputy.

Furthermore, it is a significant and welcome development that Director Clapper recommended and that the President nominated Ms. O’Sullivan to serve in this role.  As the current Associate Deputy Director of the CIA and long-serving CIA official, Ms. O'Sullivan's confirmation to the Principal Deputy DNI position should help end the disputes between the Office of the DNI and the CIA that we have seen in the past. 

Ms. O’Sullivan was nominated to be the Principal Deputy DNI on January 5, 2011. Ms. O’Sullivan completed the Committee’s standard questionnaire and responded to a large number of pre-hearing questions. She appeared before the Committee on February 3 and answered all questions put to her.  On February 15, 2011, the Intelligence Committee voted unanimously to recommend Ms. O’Sullivan's confirmation to the Senate.

Biographical Information on Stephanie O’Sullivan

It is clear from her background that Ms. O’Sullivan has the experience necessary to be an effective Principal Deputy DNI.  She has been the Associate Deputy Director of the CIA since December 2009.  Prior to that position, Ms. O’Sullivan headed CIA’s Directorate of Science and Technology for 4 years.  In that role, she managed CIA’s technological innovation and support to case officer operations.  In all, Ms. O’Sullivan spent over 14 years combined in the Directorate of Science and Technology.  Before the CIA, she worked in the Office of Naval Intelligence, and at TRW, which is now part of Northrop Grumman.

Her current role in the CIA is akin to that of Chief Operating Officer - similar to her position if confirmed to be Principal Deputy DNI.  She has acquitted herself well in her current capacity and I am confident she will do so in the position to which she has been nominated.


In sum, Ms. O’Sullivan will be a great asset to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Intelligence Community as a whole because of her experience in the Community and the management skills she developed in her leadership roles at the CIA. 

I urge the Senate to act quickly on her nomination and I yield the Floor.”