US president-elect Donald Trump on Saturday nominated former Indiana Senator Dan Coats as the Director of National Intelligence, the federal agency which heads all American intelligence agencies including the FBI and CIA.
“I’m very confident that Senator Dan Coats is the right choice to serve as Director of National Intelligence,” Trump said.
Coats had served on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, including during the just-completed 114th Congress and previously on Senate Armed Services Committee.
“Dan has clearly demonstrated the deep subject matter expertise and sound judgement required to lead our intelligence community,” he said.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence was created in the aftermath of 9/11 as head of the US Intelligence Community to facilitate the sharing of information, ultimately making it possible to form a more comprehensive threat assessment.
“If confirmed as Director of National Intelligence, he will provide unwavering leadership that the entire intelligence community can respect, and will spearhead my administration’s ceaseless vigilance against those who seek to do us harm,” Trump said.
“A robust and responsible intelligence infrastructure is essential to our homeland security, and if confirmed I will ensure our national security decision-makers have every piece of information they need to protect the American people from the threats facing our nation,” Coats said.
“There is no higher priority than keeping America safe, and I will utilise every tool at my disposal to make that happen,” said Coats, who as per the transition team will bring decades of experience and profound judgment to the supervision and coordination of America’s intelligence efforts.
Coats was born in Michigan and earned a BA in political science at Wheaton College in Illinois before serving in the US Army from 1966 to 1968.
After his military service, he earned a JD from the University of Indiana in 1972 and subsequently worked in the private sector.
From 1981 to 1989 he served in the US House of Representatives from Indiana and as a Senator again from 2011-2017.
He did not seek his re-election. From 2001-2005, he was the US Ambassador to Germany.