On Wednesday, the Senate confirmed U.S. Army veteran and former Indiana Senator Dan Coats as the new Director of National Intelligence in an 85-12 vote. The confirmation makes Coats the fifth person to have the position since it was created following the September 11, 2001 terror attacks. He will be replaced outgoing Obama-appointee, James Clapper.
Coates served in the U.S. Army from 1966 to 1968. He was first elected to Congress in 1981 as a representative for Indiana’s fourth Congressional District. He went on to serve in the Senate from 1989 to 1999, and again from 2011 until announcing in 2015 he would not run for reelection in 2016. During his time in office he was on the Select Intelligence Committee. He was also Ambassador to Germany in the George W. Bush Administration.
Coates, 73, visited the President-elect at Trump tower at the end of 2016 but stated at the time that he was not seeking a position. He was tapped for the role in early January.
The Department of National Intelligence was created in response to the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Act of 2004 which followed recommendations by the 9/11 Commission Report which was created after September 11, 2001. The office was created as a means of organizing the intelligence gathering and analysis groups. As Director, Coats will oversee 16 other intelligence agencies.