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Psychology and Human Intelligence

Exploit path-breaking scientific and research advances that will enable us to maintain and extend intelligence advantages against emerging threats.

By Geoff Mumford

During the last week of October, John Negroponte, the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), took the unusual step of publicly revealing the National Intelligence Strategy of the United States. The Strategy, which calls for "transformation through integration and innovation," formalizes previous reports that the DNI was planning to shift resources away from technical information collection toward human intelligence gathering. The details are laid out in a series of 15 "mission" and "enterprise" objectives. Science Policy staff were pleased to see that one of those objectives focused on enhanced research as follows: "Exploit path-breaking scientific and research advances that will enable us to maintain and extend intelligence advantages against emerging threats."

Developing a plan to meet that objective will fall to a physiological psychologist, Dr. Eric Haseltine, the new Associate Director of National Intelligence for Science and Technology. We wanted the Associate Director to know that APA was here to serve as a scientific resource as those plans evolve, so two days after the release of the Strategy, Science Directorate Executive Director Steve Breckler and Science Policy staffers Geoff Mumford and Heather Kelly met with Haseltine to discuss opportunities for collaboration. At his temporary offices at CIA headquarters in Mclean, Virgina, Haseltine spent over an hour providing candid insight on issues ranging from the organizational culture of the intelligence community, stress related to the operational environment abroad, and the role psychology and behavioral science might play in the training of future analysts and operational personnel. Haseltine detailed a number of opportunities for follow-up and Science Policy staff look forward to maintaining a close collaboration with him as his strategic initiatives unfold.

Haseltine brings a unique set of on-the-job training credentials to his current position.
Prior to joining DNI, Haseltine had served for three years in an analogous role as Associate Director for Research at the National Security Agency (NSA), one of the 13 intelligence agencies now grouped under the jurisdiction of DNI. But for more than two decades before joining NSA, Haseltine worked in private industry, first as Director of Engineering for Hughes Aircraft and later as Executive Vice President for Research and Development at Walt Disney Imagineering. Haseltine was recruited and selected for the DNI position by his former NSA boss, General Michael Hayden, who now serves in the number two slot at DNI as Director Negroponte's Deputy Director.