Principles of Professional Ethics for the Intelligence Community


Principlesof Professional Ethics - Download PDFThe Principles of Professional Ethics for the Intelligence Community serve public-facing and internally-focused purposes. They reflect the core values common to all elements of the Intelligence Community and distinguish the officers and employees of the IC as “intelligence professionals.”


The principles–Mission, Truth, Lawfulness, Integrity, Stewardship, Excellence and Diversity–reflect the standard of ethical conduct expected of all Intelligence Community personnel, regardless of individual role or agency affiliation. The Director of National Intelligence formally issued the Principles of Professional Ethics for the Intelligence Community in 2014.


The heads of Departments and Agencies to which these Principles apply eagerly concurred in the establishment and issuance of this professional code. The principles serve as a reminder of the tremendous responsibility to which IC members are committed and the high standard of professional and personal conduct to which they must adhere.

The 2014 National Intelligence Strategy recognizes and reinforces the Principles as fundamental to the IC’s Mission and Vision, including the foundational Mission and Enterprise Objectives on which the strategy is built.



We serve the American people, and understand that our mission requires selfless dedication to the security of our Nation.


We seek the truth; speak truth to power; and obtain, analyze, and provide intelligence objectively.


We support and defend the Constitution, and comply with the laws of the United States, ensuring that we carry out our mission in a manner that respects privacy, civil liberties, and human rights obligations.


We demonstrate integrity in our conduct, mindful that all our actions, whether public or not, should reflect positively on the Intelligence Community at large.


We are responsible stewards of the public trust; we use intelligence authorities and resources prudently, protect intelligence sources and methods diligently, report wrongdoing through appropriate channels; and remain accountable to ourselves, our oversight institutions, and through those institutions, ultimately to the American people.


We seek to improve our performance and our craft continuously, share information responsibly, collaborate with our colleagues, and demonstrate innovation and agility when meeting new challenges.


We embrace the diversity of our Nation, promote diversity and inclusion in our work force, and encourage diversity in our thinking.


Download a PDF version of the IC Principles of Professional Ethics

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