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10 September 2008

Date: Wed, 10 Sep 2008 08:11:12 -0500 (CDT)
From: Office of the Director of National Intelligence <odni[at]>
Subject: Harvard Kennedy School/ODNI Press Release: Intelligence Community Civilian Joint Duty Program Honored as Innovations in American Government Award Winner

Office of the Director of National Intelligence Receives Accolades from Harvard University s Ash Institute

Cambridge, Mass., September 9, 2008

The Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard Kennedy School today announced the Intelligence Community Civilian Joint Duty Program as a winner of the 2008 Innovations in American Government Awards. This program of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence promotes cross collaboration and knowledge transfer across the entire intelligence community. As one of six 2008 Innovations winners recognized at tonight s awards gala in Washington, D.C., the program will receive $100,000 toward dissemination and replication across the country.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence designed the Intelligence Community Civilian Joint Duty Program in 2007 to address the unique threats faced by American intelligence as detailed in the 2004 Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act and the 9-11 Commission. The program instills a new model of collaboration by requiring personnel to serve a period of duty outside of their parent agency as a prerequisite for senior level promotion. As a result, Joint Duty personnel gain a deeper and broader knowledge of the inner-workings of American intelligence, and in the process, build the collaborative, inter-agency information-sharing networks so vital to today s post-9/11 intelligence mission. Through the efforts of Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell, as well as the strong backing of Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, all 16 agencies, including those within the six cabinet departments that make up the intelligence community, participate in the program.

Previously, the intelligence community s agencies and departments operated almost independently, with very little interagency collaboration and information sharing an insularity deeply rooted in the Cold War and identified by the 9-11 Commission as one of the primary reasons the intelligence community failed to connect the dots leading up to the September 11th tragedy.

Under the guidelines of the Joint Duty program, all Intelligence Community employees are evaluated under the same performance standards, no matter which of the 16 agencies they may serve. Such standards include how well they collaborate, share information, and take integrated action across agency boundaries. Executives receive annual feedback from superiors, staff, and peers, through comprehensive 360-degree reviews standardized across all agencies. While formal outcomes are classified, the program is already receiving much anecdotal acclaim.

"Joint Duty ensures that leaders of the Intelligence Community acquire a deep understanding of how each element of the IC contributes to the overall mission," said Director Mike McConnell. "It's like the quintessential CEO who has spent time working in the mail room, advertising, distribution, sales, and accounting. A leader who understands and sees the big picture is eminently better prepared to handle the challenges of a complex global threat. The Joint Duty Program is one of the many fruits of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004."

Knowledge-sharing between our federal intelligence agencies is key to improved national security, said Stephen Goldsmith, director of the Innovations in American Government Awards at Harvard Kennedy School. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence has developed an innovative solution for improving cross-agency understanding, while at once creating a more rewarding professional experience for intelligence community personnel.

Since 1986, the Ash Institute s Innovations in American Government Awards Program at Harvard Kennedy School has honored 187 federal, state, and local government agencies through Ford Foundation support. In highlighting exemplary models of government innovation, the Program drives continued progress in improving the quality of life of citizens and encourages scholarly research and teaching cases at Harvard University and institutions worldwide. Many award-winning programs have been replicated across jurisdictions and policy areas, and have served as harbingers of today s reform strategies or as forerunners to state and federal legislation.

About the Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation

The Roy and Lila Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation advances excellence in governance and strengthens democratic institutions worldwide. Through its research, education, international programs, and government innovations awards, the Institute fosters creative and effective government problem-solving and serves as a catalyst for addressing many of the most pressing needs of the world s citizens. Asia Programs, a school-wide initiative integrating Asia-related activities, joined the Ash Institute in July 2008. The Ford Foundation is a founding donor of the Institute. Additional information about the Ash Institute is available at Applicants for the 2009 Innovations in American Government Awards are encouraged to apply at

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