Senate Confirms Dan Coats as Fifth Director of National Intelligence

Alexander J. Segal's picture

On March 15, 2017, the United States confirmed Dan Coats as the new Director of National Intelligence by a vote of 85-12.1 The Director of National Intelligence is a cabinet-level official who directs and oversees the National Foreign Intelligence Program as the head of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI).

Director of National Intelligence

Although the Director of National Intelligence is not an immigration position, intelligence considerations may affect immigration policy. For example, in his March 6 Executive Order 13780 titled “Executive Order Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States” [PDF version], President Donald Trump directed the Director of National Intelligence to work with other Executive Department heads to strengthen the vetting of aliens seeking immigration benefits [see blog].

Prior to becoming the fifth Director of National Intelligence, Coats was a United States Senator from Indiana from 1989 to 1999, and then again from 2011 to 2017. In between his Senate tenures, Coats served as the United States Ambassador to Germany under President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2005.


  1. Lesniewski, Niels, “Former Senator Dan Coats Easily Confirmed as Intelligence Director,”, (Mar. 15, 2017)