IC’s First Communications Fellow Finds Unique, Impactful Experience at ODNI

IC’s First Communications Fellow Finds Unique, Impactful Experience at ODNI



In the summer of 2022, Assistant Director of National Intelligence for Strategic Communications Tim Barrett saw an opportunity to harness one of ODNI’s powers--to bring in talent from across the IC--offering a win-win for IC communications officers and for ODNI Strategic Communications. The new IC Communications Fellowship Program gives junior IC communicators the invaluable experience of working in ODNI and, in turn, strengthens the communications tradecraft and expertise SC provides to the IC workforce and to its leadership.


The IC Communicators Fellowship Program is a 179-day detail for IC communications officers; it complements the IC Joint Duty Assignment program and allows junior officers (GS-10 and below) to experience at JDA-like assignment on a shortened timeframe. Junior officers expand their horizons, gain new skills and insights into ODNI’s decision making process, and build connections to a new network of experts. In turn, these future leaders help ODNI officers understand and best represent their home agency’s views, mission, and culture.


Claudia Borovina, the inaugural IC Communication Fellow, recently completed her tour at ODNI after joining ODNI’s Strategic Communications Office in May 2022.


Claudia’s educational background in political science and communications, as well as her prior Public Affairs internships and three years of experience as a National Security Agency public affairs officer in media relations, made her the ideal candidate for the fellowship. When the announcement came, it was an obvious choice for Claudia to apply.


“It has been my goal to expand my abilities as much as possible, and I proactively sought ways to both deepen my understanding of how the public views issues across the IC, and how we can better engage and communicate with the public to support NSA’s mission,” said Claudia.


Claudia was part of the SC events and outreach team, which primarily supports ODNI’s public-facing functions for the DNI and PDDNI, from event support to speech writing. As an IC Communications Fellow, she wrote articles, created digital media, and coordinated various senior engagements in addition to serving as an integrative force across SC’s specialty areas. Her article on the Intelligence and National Security Summit (INSA) held in Washington, D.C., Sept. 15-17, was published to ODNI’s public website. Internal pieces were featured on in the internal ODNI Dispatch, such as her article on the IC-wide effort to reduce IC hiring timelines. She even staffed an IARPA trip to Boston.


“One of the highlights of my fellowship was being trusted to coordinate events for the DNI and the PDDNI,” said Claudia. “I was also able to attend events [at ODNI] where I heard Intelligence Community leaders talk directly about their career paths and advice, leadership values, and their goals for the Intelligence Community – that is something I will never forget.”


Claudia returned to NSA in January with an enriched experience, ultimately making her a stronger communicator, underscoring the value of the IC Communications Fellowship Program.


“This is an exciting start to a program that will help us nurture and develop a cadre of IC communicators while reinforcing the importance of communications as tradecraft,” said ADNI Barrett. “Claudia was a fantastic fellow, and I’m confident she’ll return to NSA as an ambassador for the value of taking an integrative approach to IC communications. After all, the IC’s effectiveness relies on the public’s trust, and communications is key to building that foundation.”

 IC’s First Communications Fellow