Biden names career CIA official to coordinate intelligence response to Russia, China

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Biden names career CIA official to coordinate intelligence response to Russia, China

WASHINGTON - The Biden administration has named a career CIA official to coordinate the intelligence community's response to threats from Russia, China and other adversaries.

Jeffrey Wichman was named election threats executive by the Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, said Nicole de Haay, a spokeswoman for Haines. Wichman has served more than 30 years at the CIA, including in top counterintelligence and cybersecurity positions, according to de Haay. His appointment was first reported by The New York Times.

The new intelligence center was created to prevent foreign interference in American democracy after stalled efforts to create a new intelligence center. While experts and intelligence officials say that the proposed Foreign Malign Influence Center is needed, a proposal to create the center is stalled due to disagreements over the center's size and budget.

The election threats executive is responsible for coordinating all election security efforts across the 18 member intelligence community, which include agencies that detect and deter cyberattacks, disinformation campaigns, and efforts to influence politicians and policy debates.

The previous executive, Shelby Pierson, was in the spotlight after giving a closed-door briefing to lawmakers on Russia's attempts to interfere in the 2020 election in favor of former President Donald Trump. That angered Trump, who berated the then-director of national intelligence and later replaced him.

Pierson took a job as an intelligence officer.