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Friday, 22 July 2022 13:00

DNI Haines speaks with high school students

at the National Student Leadership Conference


Story by Claudia Borovina

IC Communications Fellow from the National Security Agency

Photos by Marike Pinsonneault, NSLC Leaders


Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines spoke with high school students attending the National Student Leadership Conference on Intelligence and National Security at American University on Saturday, July 16. She spoke about the role of the Intelligence Community and how students can get involved in national security careers.


The National Student Leadership forum is a non-partisan, educational organization dedicated to preparing high school students for leadership roles.


Haines opened up the discussion with an overview of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Intelligence Community. ODNI was created in 2005, in the wake of 9/11, as a way to close the intelligence integration gaps between agencies and put together a holistic picture of threats facing the United States.


She shed light on how Intelligence Community officers deliver insights rooted in intelligence reporting that is timely, relevant, and unbiased.




A key theme that arose in Haines’ discussion with the students was the importance of representation in the Intelligence Community. Haines and leaders across the IC know that diversity is key to building a strong, diverse workforce to address national security problems. It is necessary to bring professionals from all ages, disciplines, and backgrounds to work together to protect our nation.


“Here in the Intelligence Community, you’re trying to understand the world,” said Haines. “You can’t do that unless you have a diversity – of frankly – knowledge, experience, and perspectives in the Intelligence Community.”


In the past year, DNI Haines has spoken with students and interns from universities across the nation, encouraging them to use their talents to pursue a career in public service. Most recently, she spoke about ongoing threats and her career alongside Deputy Attorney General Monaco during the Silverado Leadership and Service Forum on June 29.


High school, undergraduate, graduate, and post-doc students may find information about internships across the Intelligence Community at https://www.intelligencecareers.gov/icstudents.html