Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines gives keynote at UArizona intelligence summit
Haines spoke at the College of Applied Science and Technology's second annual Southern Arizona Intelligence Summit, which focused on the theme of "diversity in the intelligence community."
Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines was the special keynote speaker for the University of Arizona's Southern Arizona Intelligence Summit on Oct. 13.
The second annual summit, held on the main campus and hosted by the College of Applied Science and Technology in Sierra Vista, brought together leaders from national intelligence organizations and companies to discuss challenges and meet with students. This year's event focused on the theme of "diversity in the intelligence community." The event was attended by more than 400 people, including students, faculty and staff. Attendees also included speakers and recruiters from the CIA, FBI, the National Security Agency, the Department of Defense and other federal agencies.
"The University of Arizona is proud to host this event, especially with cybersecurity and cyberinfrastructure and related areas being strategic priorities for the future of our institution and the future and security of our country," University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins said at the event.
As the first female director of national intelligence, Haines is the first woman to lead the U.S. Intelligence Community, which includes the CIA, FBI, the U.S. Space Force and intelligence divisions for several federal departments and branches of the armed forces.
Haines, in conversation with Arizona Regent Cecilia Mata, said that diversity and inclusion are "top priorities" for the intelligence community, as she relies on diverse perspectives and life experiences to inform her decision-making processes.
"It is absolutely fundamental for an intelligence community that is trying to understand the world to have diverse perspectives and experiences," Haines said. "There is a lot of scholarship that tells us how diverse institutions are more innovative, and innovation is absolutely crucial to our work."
For several years, the College of Applied Science and Technology has been the home of leading academic programs in cyber operations and intelligence and information operations. The U.S. Intelligence Community has designated the university a Center for Academic Excellence for both programs, meaning they meet or exceed rigorous standards for teaching core skills needed for the future of U.S. security.
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