Recent Speeches

Mr. President, I rise in support of the nomination of Mr. David C. Gompert to be the Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence and urge my colleagues to support this nomination.  The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence unanimously approved Mr. Gompert’s nomination by voice vote on October 29.

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. 

The Director of National Intelligence, Admiral Blair, has made clear to me and to the Committee his strong desire to have Mr. Gompert in place to carry out his duties.  In fact, Director Blair’s predecessor, Admiral Mike McConnell, told the Committee when he was in office that carrying out the DNI function requires a strong and able deputy, and that a lengthy vacancy in the PD-DNI positions was a major problem during his tenure.

Mr. Gompert has made clear that he will assist Director Blair by serving as the lead intelligence official in many policymaking areas, including the numerous National Security Council meetings in which intelligence assessments play a key role. 

He will also have an important role to play in assuring that the National Intelligence Program, which was recently disclosed to account for $49.8 billion in fiscal year 2009, is managed well and provides to the American public the intelligence capability required to keep the nation safe and its policymakers well informed.

Especially given Mr. Gompert’s role in the private sector, the Committee will look to him to import and insist on strong management practices to reign in troubled acquisitions, improve information sharing, and help run our intelligence apparatus as a true community and not just a collection of agencies.

If confirmed, Mr. Gompert will be the third Principal Deputy DNI since Congress created the position in 2004.  As I mentioned previously, the position has been unfilled for much of the time, so I am pleased that the President has nominated Mr. Gompert and I am also pleased he will be confirmed quickly.

Mr. Gompert was nominated by President Obama on August 6, 2009 – the day before Congress broke for the August Recess.  After going through the pre-hearing procedures, the Senate Intelligence Committee held a confirmation hearing on the nomination on October 13, 2009.  As part of the confirmation process, Mr. Gompert was asked to complete a Committee questionnaire, pre-hearing questions, and post-hearing questions for the record.  The answers provided by Mr. Gompert have all been posted to our Committee website.

From my meeting with Mr. Gompert and based on his answers to the questions put to him by Members of the Intelligence Committee, I can say that Mr. Gompert has proven that he will be an excellent addition to help the Office of the Director of National Intelligence carry out all of its important responsibilities and to make continued reforms.  His responses to our questions have been thoughtful and thorough. 

Mr. Gompert has almost forty years of experience as a national security professional and information technology company executive.  He has also served as a national security analyst in senior White House and State Department positions.

Most recently, Mr. Gompert has worked in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) on a short-term assignment to evaluate how the ODNI’s Mission Managers are working in practice.  In that informal role, Mr. Gompert worked to identify what additional measures can be taken to facilitate mission management and other forms of cross-agency teaming of analysts and intelligence collectors. 

Before his service at the ODNI, Mr. Gompert was a Senior Fellow at the RAND Corporation.  Prior to this he was Distinguished Research Professor at the Center for Technology and National Security Policy at the National Defense University. 

In 2003 he was a Senior Advisor for National Security and Defense to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq. 

He has also been on the faculty of the RAND Pardee Graduate School, the United States Naval Academy, and the National Defense University. 

Mr. Gompert served as President of RAND Europe from 2000 to 2003, during which period he was on the RAND Europe Executive Board and the Chairman of RAND Europe-UK.  He was Vice President of RAND and Director of the National Defense Research Institute from 1993 to 2000. 

From 1990 to 1993, Mr. Gompert served as Special Assistant to President George H. W. Bush and Senior Director for Europe and Eurasia on the National Security Council staff.  He has held a number of positions at the State Department, including Deputy to the Under Secretary for Political Affairs (1982-83), Deputy Assistant Secretary for European Affairs (1981-82), Deputy Director of the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs (1977-81), and Special Assistant to Secretary of State Henry Kissinger (1973-75).

Mr. Gompert worked as an executive in the private sector from 1983-1990, when he held executive positions at Unisys and at AT&T. 

At Unisys (1989-90), he was President of the Systems Management Group and Vice President for Strategic Planning and Corporate Development.  At AT&T (1983-89), he was Vice President, Civil Sales and Programs, and Director of International Market Planning.

Mr. Gompert holds a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering from the United States Naval Academy and a Master of Public Affairs degree from the Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University. 

In sum, Mr. Gompert will be an asset to the Intelligence Community because he has worked at the intersection of intelligence and policy for much of his career. 

His background has provided good management experience and a unique perspective on how to address the challenges lying ahead for the Intelligence Community.

I look forward to the Senate approving Mr. Gompert’s nomination and I yield the Floor.