CIA taps first woman to lead key part of agency

The CIA on Friday named Elizabeth Kimber to run the part of the agency that recruits spies overseas, gathers intelligence and engages in covert actions.

Kimber is set to become the first woman to lead the agency's clandestine service, known as the Directorate of Operations, The Wall Street Journal reports.

“With nearly 34 years of experience and a proven ability to deliver with impact on CIA’s operational mission, Beth Kimber will be an exceptional leader of our Directorate of Operations,” said Brittany Bramell, CIA’s director of public affairs.

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Details about Kimber's career are scarce, with the Journal noting that her LinkedIn page simply says that she is a "Senior National Security Executive" who graduated from Hamilton College and speaks French.

A former CIA officer who worked with Kimber told the Journal that “she has a very high intellect—not just when it comes to the operational tradecraft on which our work is based, but also on understanding the world.”

Kimber's appointment comes as women hold a number of top national security positions.

Gina Haspel was confirmed as the director of the CIA in May and Sue Gordon was sworn in as principal deputy director of national intelligence last year.