30-year CIA veteran to run espionage operations

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CIA Director William Burns has appointed a 30-year agency veteran to head the office’s espionage operation.

A CIA spokesperson said that Burns has tapped David Marlowe as the new deputy director of operations, a post that supervises undercover officers who enlist foreign spies, including foreign government officials, businessmen and disgruntled members of terrorist organizations.

The operations directorate, which is based at the CIA’s Langley, Va., headquarters, also conducts secret actions abroad when given presidential orders.

Marlowe will replace Elizabeth Kimber, who in 2018 became the first woman to lead the operations directorate.

He previously served as the senior CIA officer, also referred to as station chief, “in several of the largest and most complex environments, including war zones,” a CIA spokeswoman told The Hill.

Most recently, Marlowe was assistant director of the CIA’s Near East Mission Center, which brought together operations officers, intelligence analysts and other experts to zero in on the Middle East.

The CIA spokeswoman told The Hill that Marlowe’s appointment to the position, which does not require congressional confirmation, is a normal leadership change.

Burns in a statement called Marlowe a “deeply experienced and broadly accomplished leader.”

“He picks up right where Beth—an outstanding Agency officer of 36-plus years—left off in positioning the Directorate of Operations for the future,” Burns added.

Marlow’s nomination, which the Journal said is Burns’s first major personnel move, comes as the agency is increasingly focusing on China amid Beijing’s efforts to increase its influence on the world stage.

The Senate in March confirmed Burns, a former diplomat, as CIA director.

Updated at 11:14 a.m.

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