INSA Op-Ed: Leading the IC After 2020’s Upheavals

INSA Op-Ed: Leading the IC After 2020’s Upheavals

INSA Op-Ed: Leading the IC After 2020’s Upheavals

"In the wake of 2020’s transformative events, U.S. intelligence agencies must challenge longstanding institutional habits and embrace new ways to meet the nation’s strategic challenges," INSA Chairman Tish Long writes in her July 20 Op-Ed in Government Executive

Leading the Intelligence Community After 2020's Upheavals

As he settles into his role as Director of National Intelligence, John Ratcliffe has the opportunity to lead the intelligence community through a series of unprecedented national crises and position it to thrive in the “new normal.” Given laws on civil service hiring, handling classified information, and other requirements unique to the national security apparatus, intelligence agencies may be less able than private companies to reinvent their business models on the fly. However, adversity often presents opportunity.

In the wake of 2020’s transformative events, U.S. intelligence agencies must challenge longstanding institutional habits and embrace new ways to meet the nation’s strategic challenges.

DNI Ratcliffe should consider new approaches to four vital functions that support the IC’s core missions.

First, enable more unclassified work and expand remote work policies. The public health emergency has demonstrated that the IC must change the way it works with information. Currently, intelligence personnel work in secure facilities where they process sensitive data to produce classified reports. The COVID crisis has prevented full staffing in these cramped secure spaces and highlighted the need for secure mobile communications that could enable some types of classified work at home. After years of discussing the potential of secure remote work, the Army is launching a program to allow remote access to certain types of classified data. With telework proving to be a critical tool to contain the spread of COVID-19, now is the time to turn these ideas into reality.

Read More at Government Executive

 

Caroline Henry

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