Alongside his contentious nominee for Secretary of Defense, President Obama on Monday afternoon nominated John Brennan — currently his head counterterrorism advisor and drone architect — as the new Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. A 25-year veteran of the agency, the New Jersey native began his career at Langley in a manner you don't often hear about all that often: answering an ad in the newspaper. While riding a bus to Fordham University, where Brennan went to college, he happened upon a notice in the job listings: "There was an ad in The New York Times and it said the CIA was looking for a few good people," Brennan told The Bergen Record. The nation's potential new spy chief went on to work as an overseas spy, an intelligence analyst under Bill Clinton, and one of the CIA Director's top lieutenants under George W. Bush. That's a unique path for a man preparing to lead the agency: many CIA agents are actively recruited at colleges like Yale, with which the CIA has long been associated. That's not to suggest Brennan carries a chip on his shoulder. He seemed to appreciate the small jab Obama took at his home state this afternoon:
"In John Brennan the men and women of the CIA will have the leadership of our nation's most skilled intelligence professionals," said Obama. "That unique combination of smarts and strength that he claims comes from growing up in New Jersey."