Gina Haspel is first woman to lead the CIA

President Trump appointed the first woman CIA director Tuesday following another shakeup in his cabinet.

Gina Haspel, 61, will take the helm at the agency, replacing Mike Pompeo, who was named the new secretary of state after Rex Tillerson was ousted.

Haspel is a seasoned spymaster who ran a CIA prison in Thailand where terror suspects were subjected to harsh interrogation techniques that Trump has supported. She helped carry out an order to destroy waterboarding videos — which prompted a Department of Justice probe that ended without charges.

The prison housed accused terrorists Abu Zubayadah and Abd al Rahim al-Nashiri, who were waterboarded in 2002, sources told the Associated Press.

Haspel most recently served as deputy CIA director. She joined the agency in 1985.

Haspel has also served as chief of station at agency outposts abroad. In Washington, she has held several top senior leadership positions, including deputy director of the National Clandestine Service and deputy director of the National Clandestine Service for Foreign Intelligence and Covert Action.

Haspel’s appointment as deputy CIA director was cheered by former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper — but denounced by the American Civil Liberties Union over concern for her alleged involvement with harsh interrogation techniques.


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