Washington: The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is the ‘greatest’ concentration of talent and capabilities that the US has, the spy agency’s Director, David Petraeus has said.
Petraeus said this in a town hall with the agency staff after he was sworn in as the CIA's 20th Director by the Vice President, Joe Biden.
"I have the absolute highest regard for you and for this Agency. I believe it’s one of the greatest concentrations of talent and capability that our country has," Petraeus said in his address to the Agency’s global workforce from the auditorium at CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia.
In his speech, Petraeus emphasised importance of independent analysis, agile operations, and cutting-edge technology in meeting the challenges of the Agency’s worldwide mission.
"I respect the intellectual firepower as well as the courage, initiative, and selfless commitment that are the hallmarks of this organisation. And I truly feel very privileged to be part of such a legendary institution," he said.
Petraeus answered questions from the standing-room-only crowd about topics such as his leadership style, his goals for the Agency, and the CIA’s relationship with partner agencies around the Intelligence Community.

Highlighting the CIA’s emphasis on education and flexibility, Petraeus said, "I’ve found through hard experience that it’s important to continually learn and adapt, to constantly assess situations, to identify and share lessons learned and best practices, and to strive to build an ever-better and ever-greater learning organization."
In his first message to the CIA employees as its 20th Director, Petraeus said he wanted to join this Agency for many of the same reasons that he joined the US Army 37 years ago – for the opportunity to serve with extraordinary people, to continue to contribute to critical missions, and to be able to further serve the great country.
After the swearing in, he said, he had an opportunity to meet the US President, Barack Obama, and thanked him again for the privilege of leading this legendary institution – and the privilege of serving with them, the talented men and women of the CIA, whose courage, ingenuity, and hard work have made a decisive difference in protecting the nation.
"On Wednesday, I feel much the same way as I did as a newly commissioned Second Lieutenant – excited by the challenge, inspired by the company, and honoured by the duty," he said.
"I eagerly look forward to starting our work together, and to bringing our Agency’s unique strengths to bear on the many foreign threats and opportunities our country faces," Petraeus said.