All new appointees to the federal government begin their assignments with enthusiasm and a mandate to achieve both ambitious and specific objectives but quickly discover the challenges of doing so. As the first deputy director of national intelligence for analysis, Tom Fingar had a mandate to implement legislation intended to integrate and improve the performance of 16 intelligence agencies. This talk will use examples from his experience translating that mandate into concrete plans and policies to illustrate the challenges facing officials across the U.S. government who must rebuild after President Trump.
Thomas Fingar is a Shorenstein APARC Fellow in the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University. He was the inaugural Oksenberg-Rohlen Distinguished Fellow from 2010 through 2015 and the Payne Distinguished Lecturer at Stanford in 2009.
From 2005 through 2008, he served as the first deputy director of national intelligence for analysis and, concurrently, as chairman of the National Intelligence Council. Fingar served previously as assistant secretary of the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research (2000-01 and 2004-05), principal deputy assistant secretary (2001-03), deputy assistant secretary for analysis (1994-2000), director of the Office of Analysis for East Asia and the Pacific (1989-94), and chief of the China Division (1986-89). Between 1975 and 1986 he held a number of positions at Stanford University, including senior research associate in the Center for International Security and Arms Control.
Fingar is a graduate of Cornell University (A.B. in Government and History, 1968), and Stanford University (M.A., 1969 and Ph.D., 1977 both in political science). His most recent books are Reducing Uncertainty: Intelligence Analysis and National Security (Stanford University Press, 2011), The New Great Game: China and South and Central Asia in the Era of Reform, editor (Stanford, 2016), Uneasy Partnerships: China and Japan, the Koreas, and Russia in the Era of Reform (Stanford, 2017), and Fateful Decisions: Choices that will Shape China’s Future, co-edited with Jean Oi (Stanford, 2020).