Friday, July 9, 2021

ODNI focuses on hiring more scientifically trained graduate students?

Via the New York Times, this comment about hiring in scientifically-trained students into the American intelligence community (in the midst of an article about scientific expertise being used by Director of National Intelligence
Faced not only with the immediate unsolved security questions, but also with the longer-term challenge of improving intelligence collection on climate change, Avril D. Haines, the director of national intelligence, has pushed agencies to more aggressively recruit undergraduate and graduate students with an extensive range of scientific knowledge.

“The D.N.I. believes that the changing threat landscape requires the intelligence community to develop and invest in a talented work force that includes individuals with science and technology backgrounds,” said Matt Lahr, a spokesman for Ms. Haines. “Without such expertise, we will not only be unable to compete, we will not succeed in addressing the challenges we face today.”

Will be interesting to see if this translates itself into more biologically/chemically-trained PhDs entering the employ of the Intelligence Community.


  1. I remember seeing CIA recruiters at an ACS national meeting, back in the late 2000s or early 2010s.

    1. I saw CIA and FBI recruiters and one national meeting. I tried talking to a few of them and they were mostly complete jerks to me when I was asking how to get in as a chemist. One guy, who was an analytical chemist, straight up told me that if I don't have a background in analytical chemistry, they won't even look at me so don't even bother looking at jobs, let alone applying.

  2. Good luck to them, while they're still denying security clearances to cannabis users in this day and age. They're the epitome of bureaucratic rigidity and social conservatism; and most scientists, especially the latest crop of undergrads and grads, simply aren't. There's a culture clash that will keep them from connecting with the full talent pool. And it's not just cannabis, if that isn't clear: the FBI, for example, is a bastion of racism in American society (see: ) . Security clearances to LGBT folks shouldn't be taken for granted, and are still a political football. And seriously: look at their haircuts. It's as if they all come from some G-Man factory. No, scientists will continue to have more fulfilling careers elsewhere than the intelligence community.


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