2008 Winner
Office of the United States Director of National Intelligence
Innovations in American Government Awards
Innovations in American Government Awards

In the aftermath of the tragedies of September 11, 2001, a congressional commission convened to provide a complete account of the circumstances leading up to the attacks, including the United States' preparedness and the immediate response, found that the Intelligence Community (IC) "failed to connect the dots," due to a lack of interagency information sharing between the 16 constituent bureaus. Passed in response to the recommendations of the 9-11 Commission for increased collaboration within the IC, the 2004 Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act patterned itself after the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986, which requires that all uniformed officers complete at least one "joint" assignment before advancing in rank. Similarly, the 2004 law mandates that civilian employees in the IC, in advance of promotion to senior executive status, complete interagency assignments.

Since the inception of the resultant Intelligence Community Civilian Joint Duty Program in May 2006, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) has identified hundreds of senior executive positions in the IC that will require joint duty as a prerequisite, and it has opened an interagency Website that lists hundreds of joint duty placements for IC civilians. ODNI has also sponsored the Leadership Exchange and Assignment Pilot program, which matches dozens of IC senior managers and executives with key leadership positions in other agencies, for rotational assignments of up to two years. The Intelligence Community Civilian Joint Duty Program thus fosters a culture of collaboration and develops a corps of senior leaders imbued with an enterprise-wide, as opposed to an agency-centric, focus.

Other United States Federal Government bureaus are now looking to the knowledge sharing networks, which connect the 16 agencies comprising the IC, as a model for interagency collaboration and information exchange. Executive Order 13434, National Security Professional Development, seeks to "enhance the national security of the United States, including preventing, protecting against, responding to, and recovering from natural and manmade disasters...[by] promoting the education, training, and experience of current and future professionals in national security positions...in executive departments and agencies," draws on the Intelligence Community Civilian Joint Duty Program as a model by which to reach its stated objective. The order mandates that heads of agencies with national security functions are to be afforded opportunities to pursue "interagency and intergovernmental assignments and fellowship[s] [which] provide for professional development... [and] career advancement."