DNI Priorities

DNI Priorities

DNI Haines at 2022 ATA HPSCI briefing
DNI Haines appeared before both the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, March 8 and March 10 and provided testimony on the annual threat assessment. (Photo by Jessica Hrabosky, ODNI Office of Strategic Communications)



During her confirmation hearing before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in January 2021, Director of National Intelligence Avril D. Haines was asked to share her top priorities as DNI. You can access her testimony here but below is a summary of those priorities, which are in the service of the ODNI's mission:

  • Building Trust and Confidence with the Workforce, the Congress, and the Public.  I believe it is essential that the Intelligence Community workforce, the Congress, and the American people understand and believe that the IC's role is to provide honest, high-quality apolitical analysis and advice, regardless of whether it is convenient or expedient.  Building trust with these key stakeholders is a priority.
  • Strengthening our institution and our workforce.  In this moment in our history, in light of the increasing pace and complexity of the threat landscape, promoting a strong, agile, diverse, and resilient institution and workforce guided by the values that inspire us, is fundamental to our success.
  • Aligning our national intelligence resources to the threats we are facing. Truly aligning our work, our resources, and our talent in the Intelligence Community to the major threats we are facing today, while also preparing for the threats of tomorrow means being ruthlessly focused on traditional priorities while also remaining vigilant in tracking and addressing emerging challenges. In all cases, being conscious about what we are doing and working to leverage the combined talent, skills, capabilities, and knowledge across the Intelligence Community so that we can be more than the sum of our parts.
  • Promoting expertise, data, science, and innovation.  Drawing on external and internal expertise, developing new expertise, consistently promoting knowledge as a resource and underlying on evidence-driven insights to innovate -- all are key elements of an intelligence community capable of understanding a rapidly evolving world.
  • Partnerships.  Whether in the context of foreign partners; other parts of the federal government; state, local or tribal entities; or non-governmental actors, such as private sector entities, academic institutions, research institutions, think tanks, or nonprofits -- our need to partner has never been stronger in service of our mission.  Partnerships are essential for our understanding, for promoting collective action, for accessing expertise and knowledge, for collaboration in our common defense, and so much more.

Additionally, in the context of preparing the FY22 budget proposal for the Congress, the DNI worked with the other 17 Intelligence Community heads to identify key principles and priorities for the Intelligence Community, as follows:




The distribution of power across the world is changing, creating new threats increasingly linked to events beyond our shores.  We are contending with a global pandemic, economic crises in many parts of the world, and a growing climate crisis. Nationalism is on the rise, democracy is perceived as receding and our growing rivalry with China, Russia, and other authoritarian states, alongside a technological revolution, has the potential to reshape the global order. This is a moment of unprecedented challenges and unmatched opportunities, both of which require collective action with key partners and allies. We cannot do it alone.


Central to our nation's efforts to address the changing landscape of threats is promoting innovation and competitiveness, as well as strengthening and making our critical infrastructure, economy, defenses, and institutions more resilient to global shocks.


A highly functional, adaptive, and innovative Intelligence Community is fundamental to our capacity to meet the challenges we face and identify the opportunities we should seize. We must develop and invest in a talented and diverse workforce with the skills needed to address future threats and to enable strategic competition, adapt new and emerging science and technology to promote our mission, deepen and strengthen our partnerships, and invest in our institutions. Doing more of the same will not suffice -- we must evolve.


Our allocation of resources must reflect our priorities. We live in a world of constrained resources and this requires us to make difficult decisions across the National Intelligence Program and the Military Intelligence Program to look at ways to maximize our impact with the dollars we have. We must make smart, disciplined investments in our national defense while innovating at speed and scale to match the dynamic threat landscape. We must work together to promote integration that allows us to leverage each other's strengths, mitigate weaknesses, and minimize redundancies while serving policymakers, warfighters, and other operators across the federal enterprise.


Priorities that follow from these principles:


Our competition with an increasingly adversarial China poses the greatest geopolitical challenge we face and consequently an unparalleled priority for the Intelligence Community even as we sustain global coverage.


Building and sustaining a diverse and talented workforce is a necessary prerequisite and a mission imperative for addressing the challenges we face and remaining competitive in today's world.


Promoting competitiveness and innovation requires us to invest in, rapidly adapt, and protect from theft, science and technology that is not only effective but that will provide us a competitive advantage, including in critical technical areas such as high performance computing, microelectronics, biotechnology, artificial intelligence, quantum computing, next generation telecommunications, and metamaterials -- and with respect to the tools that help us to employ and promote science and technology in pursuit of our mission, such as automation, standard setting, improved leveraging of open source material, and mechanisms that ensure data is appropriately protected, reliable, and usable.


Building partnerships with government entities, academia and private sector around the world and at home is fundamental to promoting innovation, creating resilience, and leveraging resources for shared benefit.


Integrating expertise across a range of disciplines, particularly relevant to understanding long term trends, such as climate and the environment, economics and finance, cybersecurity, biology, and public health, in order to ensure a deep understanding of the implications of such destabilizing trends on our daily work, foster strategic foresight and innovation, and lead to a deeper understanding of the threats we face and the opportunities that emerge to address such trends.


Promoting resilience by protecting our nation's critical infrastructure to ensure critical mission success in times of competition, crisis and conflict while also securing supply chains that we rely on to ensure our national security in the context of threats such as pandemics and other biological threats, cyber attacks, climate shocks, and terrorist threats.


Where DNI Haines has outlined her priorities:


Intelligence Community priorities: