Goss, Porter J.

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On September 24, 2004, the U.S. Senate confirmed Porter J. Goss as Director of Central Intelligence. As the President's principal intelligence advisor, Goss head the intelligence community (all foreign intelligence agencies of the United States) and directs the Central Intelligence Agency.

Born on November 26, 1938, in Waterbury Connecticut, Goss received a degree in classics and Greek from Yale University. Goss began serving as an undercover operative for the U.S. Army after graduation, moving to the Central Intelligence Agency in 1962. While working for the CIA, Goss completed assignments in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Europe. He served in the CIA until 1972, when illness forced him ot resign.

Upon re-entering civilian life, Goss settled with his family in Sanibel, Florida. There, Goss ran his own business and started a local newspaper. His first successful run for public office was for a spot on Sanibel City Council, which he won in 1974. Including three years as mayor of Sanibel, Goss served there until 1983. Goss moved on to the Lee County (Florida) Commission from 1983 to 1988, serving as chairman from 1985 to 1986.

Goss continued his ascent through Florida politics, next representing the 14th Congressional District of Florida for almost 16 years. He was chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence from 1997 until his nomination as Director of Central Intelligence in August 2004. He served for almost a decade as a member of the committee, which oversees the intelligence community and authorizes its annual budget. During the 107th Congress, Goss co-chaired the joint congressional inquiry into the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He is the second Director of Central Intelligence to have served in Congress.

Since taking over as Director, Goss found his attempts to remake the CIA unpopular with CIA staff, many of whom quit in anger over what were called "clumsy" tactics by Goss and his staff. A CIA staffer torpedoed Goss's appointee to the CIA executive director position, Michael Kostiw, by leaking to the press that Kostiw had a shoplifting arrest in his past. Resignations of senior staff have some observers fearing that the departures will leave the CIA weakened during a critical time in anti-terror efforts around the world, in addition to accusations that he is purging the agency of employees who do not adhere to the Bush administration line.

Porter J. Goss

1938      Born November 26, in Waterbury, CT

1962–72      Served as clandestine officer in CIA

1974      Elected Mayor of Sanibel, FL

1989      Elected to U.S. House of Representatives

2004      Confirmed as Director of Central Intelligence

In 2005, Goss found himself in the midst of another public relations faux pas when he told an audience during a speech at the Ronald Reagan Library that "The jobs that I'm being asked to do, the five hats that I wear, are too much for this mortal… I'm a little amazed at the workload." This led to news reports that Goss was overwhelmed with his duties, an assertion that spokespeople for Goss quickly denied as simple misinterpretation of Goss's comments on the part of the press.