Stephen Kappes Replaced by Michael Morrell as Deputy Director at CIA

 

Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, April 14, 2010; 2:31 PM

 

 

CIA Deputy Director , who has had a role in overseeing most of the agency’s counter-terrorism efforts since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, is scheduled to retire in May and will be replaced by a career analyst, CIA officials said Wednesday.

Michael Morell, 51, will take over the No. 2 position at a time when the CIA is battering the al-Qaeda terrorist network with an escalating campaign of drone strikes in Pakistan, but enduring severe setbacks including the suicide bombing in December that killed seven agency employees and contractors near the Afghan city of Khost.

The departure of Kappes had been expected for some time, and the elevation of Morell was portrayed as a move of continuity at an agency that had endured a series of often morale-sapping shake-ups in the years following the Sept. 11 attacks.

Kappes had signaled a desire to step down as long as two years ago, but he was persuaded by President Obama to stay in the job to work alongside Leon E. Panetta, a former congressman with limited intelligence background who had been picked to be CIA director.

In a message to the CIA workforce, Panetta described Kappes as an intelligence veteran who embodies “skill and loyalty, dedication and discipline, integrity and candor.”

Morell, 51, is a 30-year CIA veteran currently serving as director for intelligence, the agency’s analytic branch. He served as a senior briefer to presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, and according to published accounts was with Bush in Florida on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, when the World Trade Center was attacked.

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