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Avril Haines Biography

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by The Oregon Herald Staff
 Published on Tuesday November 24, 2020 - 12:23 AM
Designate for United States Director of National Intelligence
* Formerly White House Deputy National Security Advisor in Barack Obama's administration. *

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By United States Department of State -, Public Domain,
President-elect Joe Biden has chosen Avril Haines to become his 'DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE'. 51-year-old Haines worked with Biden under President Barack Obama. She was chosen to lead the Biden transition's national security and foreign policy team. She has served as the White House deputy national security adviser and deputy director of the CIA. She was the first woman to hold both positions.

And now, if confirmed, she will become the first woman to head national intelligence.

In that role, she would oversee the National Intelligence Program, the National Security Council, the Homeland Security Council and advise the president.

Avril Danica Haines is an American lawyer and former government official who served as the White House Deputy National Security Advisor in Barack Obama's administration. She previously served as Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, the first woman to hold this position. Prior to her appointment to the CIA, she served as Deputy Counsel to the President for National Security Affairs in the Office of White House Counsel.

If confirmed, Haines would be the first woman to serve as director of national intelligence.

Haines was also the first woman to be deputy director of the CIA and served as former President Barack Obama's principal deputy national security adviser. Haines has worked with Biden for more than a decade, Biden's transition team said in a release.

Biden announced Haines' nomination along with the nomination or appointment of several other senior officials, including Antony Blinken as secretary of state and former Secretary of State John Kerry as special presidential envoy for climate.

Haines was born into a New York family with her scientist parents, Adrian Rappin and Thomas Haines. She became an artist. Eventually her oil paintings appeared in The New York Times.

By the time she was 24, Haines had studied physics at Baltimore's Johns Hopkins University after receiving a degree in physics from the University of Chicago. In the mid-1990s, tired of studying physics, she opened Adrian's Book Cafe in Fells Point, an eclectic bookstore cafe at 714 S. Broadway, with her future husband, David Davighi.

Her mother had tuberculosis, and her health suffered badly when Haines was young. Haines was responsible for taking care of her mother by the age of 12. She was devastated when her mother died when she was a teenager.

She replaced Tony Blinken as White House Deputy National Security Advisor, a position she held until the end of the Obama administration.

On November 23, 2020, President-elect Joe Biden announced his nomination of Haines for Director of National Intelligence, which would make her the first woman to hold this position.

Early life and education

Haines was born in the New York City borough of Manhattan on August 29, 1969, to Adrian ; background: none;'>née Rappin) and Thomas Haines. Her mother was a painter. Adrian developed chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and contracted avian tuberculosis, leading to her death when Haines was 15 years old. Her father is a biochemist and professor emeritus at City College, who helped found the CUNY School of Medicine, where he served as the chair of the biochemistry department.

After graduating from Hunter College High School, Haines traveled to Japan for a year and enrolled in Kodokan, an elite judo institute in Tokyo. In 1988, Haines enrolled in the University of Chicago where she studied theoretical physics. While attending the University of Chicago, Haines worked repairing car engines at a mechanic shop in Hyde Park. In 1991 Haines had taken up flying lessons in New Jersey, where she met her future husband, David Davighi. She later graduated with her Bachelor of Arts in physics in 1992.

In 1992, Haines moved to BaltimoreMaryland, and enrolled as a doctoral student at Johns Hopkins University. However, later that year, Haines dropped out and with her future husband purchased at an auction a bar in Fell's Point, Baltimore, which had been seized in a drug raid; they turned the location into an independent bookstore and café. She named the store Adrian's Book Cafe, after her late mother; Adrian's realistic oil paintings filled the store. The bookstore won City Paper's 'Best Independent Bookstore' in 1997 and was known for having an unusual collection of literary offerings, local writers, erotica reading nights, and small press publications. Adrian's hosted a number of literary readings, including erotica readings, which became a media focus when she was appointed by the President to be the Deputy Director of the CIA. She served as the president of the Fell's Point Business Association until 1998.

In 1998, she enrolled at the Georgetown University Law Center, receiving her Juris Doctor in 2001.


Early government service

Susan Rice , Avril Haines, and Lisa Monaco ,

In 2001, Haines became a legal officer at the Hague Conference on Private International Law. In 2002, she became a law clerk for United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit Judge Danny Julian Boggs. From 2003 until 2006, Haines worked in the Office of the Legal Adviser of the Department of State, first in the Office of Treaty Affairs and then in the Office of Political Military Affairs. From 2007 until 2008, Haines worked for the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations as Deputy Chief Counsel for the Majority Senate Democrats ; background: none;' bgcolor='none'>Joe Biden). She then worked for the State Department as the assistant legal adviser for treaty affairs from 2008 to 2010.

In 2010, Haines was appointed to serve in the office of the White House Counsel as Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Counsel to the President for National Security Affairs at the White House.

On April 18, 2013, Obama nominated Haines to serve as Legal Adviser of the Department of State, to fill the position vacated after Harold Hongju Koh resigned to return to teaching at Yale Law School. However, on June 13, 2013, Obama withdrew Haines' nomination to be Legal Adviser of the Department of State, choosing instead to select her as Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Haines was nominated to replace Michael Morell, the CIA's deputy and former acting director. The office of the deputy director is not subject to Senate confirmation, with Haines subsequently taking office on August 9, 2013, the final day of Morrell's tenure. Haines was the first woman to ever hold the office of the deputy director, while Gina Haspel was the first female career intelligence officer to be named Director. In 2015 Haines was tasked with determining whether CIA personnel involved in the hacking of the computers of Senate staffers who were authoring the Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture would be disciplined. Haines chose not to discipline them, overruling the CIA Inspector General. Subsequently, she was involved in the CIA project of redacting the Senate report for release. She was also the first female Deputy National Security Advisor .

During her years in Obama White House, Haines played a significant role working closely with John Brennan in determining administration policy on 'targeted killings' by drones. The ACLU strongly criticized the Obama policy on drone killings as failing to meet international human rights norms. During the Democratic National Committee email leak during the 2016 presidential campaign, Haines as DNSA convened a series of meetings to discuss ways to respond to the hacking and leaks.

Private sector career

After leaving the White House, Haines was appointed to multiple posts at Columbia University. She is a senior research scholar working on the Columbia World Projects, a program designed to bring to bear academic scholarship on some of the most basic and fundamental challenges the world is facing. Haines is also a fellow at the Human Rights Institute and National Security Law Program at Columbia Law School.

Haines also serves on the bipartisan National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service. The commission was created by Congress both to develop recommendations to inspire more Americans, in particular young people, to participate in public service and to review the military selective service process. Haines is also a distinguished fellow at the Institute for Security Policy and Law, Syracuse University.

In 2018, Haines was an outspoken supporter of President Donald Trump's controversial nomination of Gina Haspel to serve as CIA director. While not commenting on Haspel's record, she praised her knowledge of the agency and intelligence, a position hailed by the White House as it promoted Haspel's confirmation. Haspel was reportedly involved in the operations of CIA secret black site torture sites in 2002 and 2003. Haspel also has admitted her role in helping destroy videotapes of torture by CIA interrogators. At least one progressive nonprofit leader has said he or she feared 'professional reprisal' for speaking out publicly in criticism of Haines' support of Haspel as CIA director.

Haines has consulted for a variety of for-profit entities with business interests related to American national security policy, including Palantir Technologies and WestExec Advisors. In late June 2020, shortly after taking on the role of overseeing foreign policy and national security considerations for the Joe Biden 2020 presidential campaign transition team, references to Palantir and other corporations for which she had worked were abruptly removed from her resume as posted on the website of the Brookings Institution, in relation to a fellowship she held there.

Director of National Intelligence

On November 23, 2020, President-elect Joe Biden announced his nomination of Haines for Director of National Intelligence, which would make her the first woman to hold this position.


  1.  'A Top Intelligence Officer Joins the Law School'Columbia Law School. November 14, 2017. Archived from the original on June 22, 2018. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
  2.  AFP . 'Avril Haines appointed first female CIA deputy director'The Daily TelegraphISSN 0307-1235Archived from the original on September 27, 2018. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
  •  'Statement by the President on the Selection of Avril Haines as Deputy National Security Advisor' . White House. December 18, 2014. Archived from the original on November 10, 2016. Retrieved January 12, 2015.
  •  Jump up to:a b 'Biden Reveals Some Cabinet Picks'The Wall Street Journal. November 23, 2020. Archived from the original on November 23, 2020. Retrieved November 23, 2020.
  •  Crowley, Michael; Smialek, Jeanna . 

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