The new director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Pentagon’s top spy chief, will be the first Marine and African American to hold the position. Maj. Gen. Vincent Stewart will leave his current post as head of the Marine Forces Cyber Command and will be promoted to the rank of lieutenant general. The Senate confirmed him as DIA chief in December. Stewart will start his new job on Jan. 23 and will take over for interim director David Shedd, a former CIA official.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, a former DIA director under Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, congratulated Stewart on his new position.
“This is a position I know well, and Vincent is exceptionally qualified to serve in this important Intelligence Community and Department of Defense post,” Clapper said in a statement. “Vincent’s temperament, professional background, leadership skills and integrity make him eminently suited to be the next DIA director.”
Stewart, a three-star general, replaces Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who left DIA in August. Flynn announced he would retire last April, amid conflict with the agency. Lt. Gen. Mary Legere, deputy chief of staff of intelligence for the Army, was once expected to take over for Flynn, but her potential nomination ran into opposition from Congress.
DIA provides military intelligence to combat units, defense planners and policy makers.