US Senate Confirms Gina Haspel As The First Female Director Of The CIA

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| May 18 , 2018 , 10:08 IST

For the first time since the US's Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was established on 18 September 1947, a female director will be heading the elite intelligence agency, after the US Senate confirmed the nomination of Gina Haspel on Thursday.

The voting resulted in a 54-45 split, with 6 Democrats joining most Republicans in support of Haspel.

US Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell called US President Donald Trump’s choice of Haspel to lead the agency “the right woman at the right time”.

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Before the voting process began, McConnel said that Haspel “demonstrated candor, integrity, and a forthright approach” throughout the confirmation process and “has quietly earned the respect and admiration” of intelligence community leaders at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, and internationally.

The 61-year-old Haspel has spent 33 years with the CIA, and has worked undercover for nearly 30 years with the CIA in Africa, Europe and other classified locations globally. Although Haspel had robust backing from former intelligence, diplomatic, military and national security officials her hard stand on terrorism and support of brutal interrogation techniques complicated her nomination.

US President Donald Trump had named Gina Haspel as the new Director of the CIA in a tweet in March as he announced that the previous director of the CIA Mike Pompeo will be taking over the role of US Secretary of State from Rex Tillerson.