Biden taps former deputy CIA director David Cohen for spy agency again

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) – US President-elect Joe Biden on Friday (Jan 15) named former Deputy CIA Director David Cohen to reprise his role at the US intelligence agency as he continued to fill out top roles for his administration.

Mr Cohen previously served as the deputy director for the Central Intelligence Agency from 2015 to 2017 under former Democratic President Barack Obama, when Mr Biden served as vice-president.

He would serve under long-time US diplomat William Burns, Mr Biden’s nominee for CIA director.

“Cohen is a national security, finance and legal expert,”Mr Biden’s transition team said in a statement, noting his work leading “special projects on new technologies and how best to work with companies to advance the CIA’s mission.”

The former lawyer also previously served as Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence at the US Department of the Treasury, where he dealt with terrorism financing and oversaw sanctions against countries such as Iran, Russia and North Korea.

Mr Biden’s transition team also said New York City’s emergency coordinator Deanne Criswell would lead the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which oversees the federal government’s response to wildfires, hurricanes and other disasters.

It named deputy level officials for the Environmental Protection Agency and the Office of Management and Budget.

It also separately announced several more top leaders to help with Mr Biden’s Covid-19 response, including former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner David Kessler to lead the vaccine effort.

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