Acting Director of the Central Intelligence Agency: Who Is Michael Morell?Submitted by go213mph on Tue, 11/13/2012 - 16:10
Once again placed in the awkward role of replacing a boss who was forced to resign abruptly, newly-minted Acting CIA Director Michael J. Morell is well suited to getting Langley back to normal. Within a day of the fall of former Gen. David Petraeus over his relationship with an Army historian whose embedment with the General’s unit apparently led to her embedment with the man himself, President Barack Obama moved to ensure stability at CIA. Morell, a thirty-year man at the Agency, served a stint as acting director last year, and his will be one of several names considered by Obama for the permanent job.
Born in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, on September 4, 1958, Michael Morell is the son of Joseph S. Morell, who worked as a tool-and-die designer for Chrysler Motors, and Irene (Harangozo) Morell. Morell graduated from Cuyahoga Falls High School in 1976, earned a B.A. in Economics at the University of Akron in 1980 and an M.A. in Economics at Georgetown University in 1984.
Morell joined the CIA in 1980, although when he traveled to Washington for his job interview he had no intention of doing so. “I had every intention of going to grad school and getting a Ph.D. in economics and teaching,” Morell explained in 2006, leading him to treat the interview as no more than a free trip to the nation’s capital. He was offered a job and took it.
Starting as an analyst tracking international energy issues, Morell worked for 14 years as an analyst and manager on East Asia, rising to director of the DI’s Office of Asian Pacific and Latin American Analysis in 1999. Morell served as a presidential briefer, i.e., chief of the staff who presents the President’s Daily Brief, for Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, and he was with President Bush on September 11, 2001. After serving as executive assistant to CIA Director George J. Tenet, from 2003 to 2006, during which time the CIA was engaged in torture, Morell took a secret assignment overseas, including in London, UK.