Transcript: Glenn Gaffney talks with Michael Morell on "Intelligence Matters"

INTELLIGENCE MATTERS - GLENN GAFFNEY

INTERVIEW WITH GLENN GAFFNEY

CORRESPONDENT: MICHAEL MORELL

PRODUCER: OLIVIA GAZIS

MICHAEL MORELL:

Glenn, it is great to have you on the show. And most importantly, it is great to see you again. Being with you brings back many fond memories for me.

GLENN GAFFNEY:

As it does for me. It's great to be here. Thanks, Michael.

MICHAEL MORELL:

When I retired from the agency the gift that you representing the science and technology side of the agency gave me was a beautiful, lacquered box with a secret compartment. And I remain, to this day, the only person in the Morell family who knows how to get into that secret compartment.

GLENN GAFFNEY:

And that's the whole story.

MICHAEL MORELL:

So I got some special (LAUGH) stuff in that compartment. What I should say is that I'm really excited about having you on the show because we've had folks from the operational side of the agency. We've had folks from the analytic side of the agency.

But we've never had somebody from the science and technology side of the agency, the S & T as we call it. And so I think our listeners are in for a real treat because it's a part of the agency that doesn't get discussed enough in my view. I'd love to use, Glenn, your career as kind of a roadmap to discuss some important issues. So let me start by asking about your academic background and how you ended up at the CIA.

GLENN GAFFNEY:

Sure. I was a physics student. Actually, technically my degree is in engineering science. I went to the New Jersey Institute of Technology. I was in engineering school primarily. And to study physics you had to kind of go into your create your own degree program. There was about 26 of us in that program -- folks mostly focusing on nuke engineering.

But I was interested in physics and wanted to study -- broadly -- a lot of different topical areas. And so my degree was actually put together by a handful of classes in the electrical engineering department, a handful in mechanical engineering, aerospace, a lot of physics courses, as you might expect-- not realizing that little bits of engineering and a lot of science all the way across was really going to prepare me for a career that, at that point, I didn't really plan on.

Came time to graduate, and I had just finished a project-- my senior project that you had to do for graduation was in astrophysics. I was looking at the relationship between plasma and magnetic fields relative to stars and, in our case, the sun. And I'm graduating. I'm trying to decide am I going to go to graduate school? Do I want to go, you know, work?

Do I want to serve? What do I want to do? And I had gone to a couple of interviews from some different companies-- talked to them. They told me what a career path would look like over 25 years. It didn't sound like something I wanted to do. (LAUGH) I wanted something that was going to change and be challenging and give me lots of opportunities to do a number of different things. And so I wasn't really sure about what I wanted to do, where I wanted to go with it. I had applied to NASA with the idea of being an astronaut. They sent me a letter--

MICHAEL MORELL:

I did not know that.

GLENN GAFFNEY:

Yeah. They sent me a letter back saying, "Get five years relevant work experience and then reapply." Right. So I thought, well, where can I get five years relevant work experience? And almost on a whim, right, I'm kind of competing with I want to serve. I want to do these things. I want to get five years relevant work experience.

A recruiter from CIA was coming by-- an alumni from New Jersey Institute of Technology who had worked in the S & T field. He came by. And we started talking. And he started telling me about the challenges that were facing the community. We were in the height of the Cold War at the time-- a lot of gaps in our knowledge, a lot of need for scientists and engineers.

I asked him a question. I said, "What if there's a big gap in the information that we have. And we just can't solve the problem?" And his answer was, "There are so many challenges, Glenn. Just come and we'll figure it out." And that sounded like it was worth trying.

MICHAEL MORELL:

That's fascinating.

GLENN GAFFNEY:

And so I came thinking I was going to be there for five years and, then, go off to NASA -- fell completely in love with the mission two years into it, and stayed for almost 31 full years.

MICHAEL MORELL:

So a key moment in anyone's career, as you know, is the start. And you began your career as an analyst-- just like I did. You worked on issues related to the space systems of the Soviet Union-- outer space. Right?

GLENN GAFFNEY:

Yes.

MICHAEL MORELL:

And there's not a lot we can talk about the work you did there. But it does give me an opportunity to use that to ask you about the importance of space today. Right. Space is a battlefield, the threats we face in space from Russia and China. How do you think about all of that? How do you sort all of that?

GLENN GAFFNEY:

Yeah. I think space is a critical domain for us. As a scientist, it's a critical domain just because of what it means for exploration and understanding. It's exciting because we're talking today about NASA's landing the next probe on Mars. Right.

And so we think of space both in terms of peaceful exploration and what that means in just terms of our discovery-- of what's out there and how we might interact and act in that area, in that domain. But it's also-- from the beginning of putting men in space, who are, then, observing things on the planet-- it's an important domain that can be used for observation of the planet both for scientific reasons and for intelligence reasons. It was one of the key things--

MICHAEL MORELL:

And for military operations.

GLENN GAFFNEY:

And for military operations. It became one of the key elements of the way that we could see over the Iron Curtain, right, and listen over the Iron Curtain. And as such, it's a very important aspect of our ability and -- understanding what is capable in that domain-- an important part of our own defense-- defending our own secrets, defending our own military or military operations, those types of things. The weaponization of space-- the threats to those capabilities is a very serious threat.

MICHAEL MORELL:

And primarily from China or China plus?

GLENN GAFFNEY:

I think it's primarily from China. But it's China plus. I think you can't rule out the Russians in that area. We never could. And I don't believe you can, right, today.

MICHAEL MORELL:

And when we're talking about this, we're talking about their ability to attack what we have in space and therefore undercut that capability that we have to watch the planet and communicate, et cetera, et cetera.

GLENN GAFFNEY:

Exactly. And it's not just things that are on orbit. But it's also the elements of the infrastructure of the space-- network of our overall capabilities in that domain which means the ground infrastructure, right, communications infrastructure-- the things that support all of that, the observation systems, all of those things-- need to be paid attention to, protected, and thought of, as a system, not just individual elements or components.

MICHAEL MORELL:

So are there certain things that we need to do as a nation in order to defend ourselves in space?

GLENN GAFFNEY:

I think one of the big challenges that we have today is a number of our capabilities in the space arena have atrophied over the years. When the wall came down, there was a peace dividend. And there was a drawback, a natural drawback.

Choices had to be made. And a number of those choices came at reducing our level of spending on the space program. And that wasn't just the visible parts of the space program. It was also the intelligence parts of the space program. Many of us cautioned at the time that while we slowed down and we pulled back, adversaries wouldn't. And it would take on the order of 20 years to gain back some of the things that we were going to give up.

And I think we're seeing the realities of that today where China and Russia have continued, to build and to invest in their capabilities in this area as well as other areas. And in many ways the U.S. has some catch-up to do.

MICHAEL MORELL:

So do you support President Trump's space command? Is that a step here that makes sense in order to focus the investment that's necessary?

GLENN GAFFNEY:

I don't know enough about the command or the way they're thinking about the command to comment effectively on it. I think-- what I do see it as is a recognition of the need for specific and deliberate focus to pay attention and build capability in that area.

MICHAEL MORELL:

So later in your career you become one of the founders and, then, later the director of the CIA cyber operations component, operations unit. So I'm going to ask you a couple questions about cyber. The first being how do you think about the cyber threats that we face as a nation?

GLENN GAFFNEY:

The cyber threat is one that, of course, we've been paying attention to and concerned about for many years. I think one of the things that concerns me the most about it is the complexity of the networks that we've developed over the years.

That complexity presents an incredible challenge on the defensive side. But I'm also concerned because we seem to, through the way that we are developing technology and employing that technology, creating more and more attack surface. We think about things like the internet of things or the internet of everything, smart--

MICHAEL MORELL:

My TV. My--

GLENN GAFFNEY:

Your TV. Your refrigerator.

MICHAEL MORELL:

--refrigerator, my toaster.

GLENN GAFFNEY:

Right. Exactly. And, then, we think about all the things that will go into what the cities of the future are going to look like or going to need to look like in order to provide some of the key things in terms of services for people.

MICHAEL MORELL:

Autonomous vehicles. Right. And all of the--

GLENN GAFFNEY:

And, then, you go into autonomous vehicles. Right. When you start thinking about all of the different ways that a would-be attacker might exploit those systems. We are creating more and more attack surface in this space. One of my friends calls the internet of things the internet of threats-- because he just sees the way that that's expanding.

And so like everything else, cyber defense is not a static thing. It is not-- understand how it works, seal it off, right. It has to be more of a living, breathing, evolving understanding of the nature of attack surfaces, the way we're being attacked and how we respond within that space.

MICHAEL MORELL:

If you're talking to CEOs or senior corporate folks, is there one or two things that you say to them that they really need to think about as they think about defending their network?

GLENN GAFFNEY:

Yeah. I often listen. And we talk about understanding the behavior within the network. And it is both the behavior of people and the behavior of the things themselves. Understand-- we need to actually be able to understand what is normal behavior and abnormal behavior for people and things within a particular network.

Understanding that a network's going-- like, there are going to be elements that, like in biology, it may get sick. A particular element gets affected. How do we isolate that, address that, take care of that and not lose the network, not lose the functionality of the system as a whole.

It's a very different construct than the way people have traditionally thought about cyber-- in many years past, which tended to be more static, more about building a fortress, building a higher wall, building a more defensible network from the outside. It's far more dynamic. And it needs to be dynamic inside not just outside.

MICHAEL MORELL:

So the United States of America, our government uses cyber to collect intelligence. We have a cyber command that is preparing to fight a war in cyberspace if necessary. At the same time, we're critical of what other countries do on the cyber front. So how should people think about what's fair game in the cyber world and what's not fair game?

GLENN GAFFNEY:

Yeah. I think it's a good-- it's a great question-- and one that, I think, as an intelligence professional, there's a certain level of respect that you develop as you're looking at other intelligence services and what their capabilities are and the way that they employ those capabilities.

If they are-- it is in the realm of intelligence in collecting information -- trying to develop information that helps good policy be formed or whatever their national policy is to be formed, that's part of the business. And that's part of the way that they would approach that business. That's very different, though, than when you're talking about things like stealing intellectual property.

MICHAEL MORELL:

We don't do that. Let me be very, very clear--

GLENN GAFFNEY:

We don't-- no.

MICHAEL MORELL:

The United States of America does not do that. It never has done that.

GLENN GAFFNEY:

That's right. Does not do that. We don't engage in economic espionage from that perspective. Also attacks on infrastructure that could be incredibly debilitating for a nation affecting great innocence-- in the overall process--

MICHAEL MORELL:

North Korea's attack on Sony.

GLENN GAFFNEY:

Right. All-- 

MICHAEL MORELL:

Iran's attack on Saudi Aramco.

GLENN GAFFNEY:

All great examples of the kind of the thing that I think are alarming, right-- and need to be dealt with at a national and international level.

MICHAEL MORELL:

So not unlike other domains, right, we need some norms here potentially, about what's acceptable and what's not. And we're just not there yet.

GLENN GAFFNEY:

That's right. It is a domain. And we need to actually have those kinds of governing behaviors.

MICHAEL MORELL:

So the next step in your career-- at least in my chronology here, I'm probably skipping a lot of stuff is you also server in a senior role at the office of the Director of National Intelligence. You oversaw all of the intelligence community's collection programs.

And, again, there's not a lot we can talk about specifically there. And I understand that. But I do have two questions. One is, is having served there and, then, having served as long as you had at the agency, how would you assess the DNI 13 years after its creation?

GLENN GAFFNEY:

Yeah. I think like any organization, it had to find its feet-- had to find its role, its extended role across what is a large, a very large intelligence community, 16 different agencies-- all with important roles to play-- in this intelligence arena-- all with different governing rules relative to what they can do and the way that they do it which are all meant to protect the freedoms and the things that we value most as Americans.

And balancing all of those and integrating all of those is an incredible challenge. And one of the things that I think has been one of the strongest points or the best things about the creation of the DNI and the way that it has evolved over the 13 years is the ability to bring the community together to work on specifically challenging problems that left unattended or left to their own devices, they would all knock off a piece of it relative to their own agency's interest or ability.

But quite frankly, the nation needs more than that. It needs an integrated approach to solving some of these problems. And so that join on me focus from the DNI saying, "We, the U.S. intelligence community, need to take on this particular problem. Now, you all get together and give me a strategy for what that would look like. And, then, together, we're going to figure out how we're going to fund it and staff it and make it work." That, to me, I think is one of the-- probably the strongest case for a DNI or a DNI-like role for the community.

MICHAEL MORELL:

There's an analytic component to that, too, that I saw. So prior to the DNI, the president really only got a way of thinking about the world from one organization. And now, it gets it from all of them.

GLENN GAFFNEY:

Exactly. Exactly.

MICHAEL MORELL:

Right. And I think that's incredibly important.

GLENN GAFFNEY:

Yeah. And multiple voices on it with different nuances to those voices.

MICHAEL MORELL:

And I was an opponent of the DNI when it was created. And when I retired, I made a special visit to Capitol Hill to thank both Susan Collins and Senator Lieberman for passing the legislation that created the DNI because I saw the value over time.

GLENN GAFFNEY:

Yeah. I, too, had a funny experience with it where I was downtown arguing against the stand up of it only to have two years later be sitting almost in the exact same chair in front of Congress as a member of the DNI talking about what we needed to do going forward.

MICHAEL MORELL:

How do you think Jim Clapper did as DNI?

GLENN GAFFNEY:

I think he did an incredible job. I think there were some things that we were doing -- when I was at the DNI, I was the deputy director of national intelligence for collection laws. We had one deputy director for collection, another one for analysis.

And one of the things that we focused on was this-- what we called integrated collection strategies -- kind of what I was just talking about. It was just the way that we thought about going after a particular target and bringing an integrative program together and doing that.

And we did those on a couple of occasions on a couple of key areas. And we had some real success with it. Jim came in and said to me, "You know, I think we're going to do away with the collection piece and do with away with the analytic piece. And we're going to create these issue managers."

And I thought, you know, Jim, I'm not sure that I like that. And Jim said, "Well, look," he says, "We'll take the success that you've had in this area and we're going to regularize it. We're going to multiply it out across these areas."

MICHAEL MORELL:

Across all the issues. Yeah.

GLENN GAFFNEY:

Across all of these issues. And I thought, well-- I get it. It's worth a shot. And to his great credit, I think Jim and Stephanie O'Sullivan as his deputy-- the two of them together did an absolutely phenomenal job as the DNI and the deputy DNI.

MICHAEL MORELL:

He's the role model. He's the role model for--

GLENN GAFFNEY:

Yeah. And he really built that organization around that join on me, let's solve these tough problems together.

MICHAEL MORELL:

So the defining-- for me anyway, the defining assignment of your career was the six years that you spent as the leader of the science and technology directorate.

GLENN GAFFNEY:

Best job in the U.S. government.

MICHAEL MORELL:

One of the five directorates or departments at the agency, so it's a very significant thing. So let me start with some basics here. What does the S & T do? What does the science and technology directorate at CIA do?

GLENN GAFFNEY:

Well, contrary to a lot of popular belief made popular in the movies, we're not running around in a bunch of lab coats blowing stuff up in the basement.

MICHAEL MORELL:

I've seen some of your labs, though. (LAUGH)

GLENN GAFFNEY:

Oh yeah. No. We have blown stuff up -- just not in the basement. Nor are we running around in lab coats. I think one of the key things to think about when you think about intelligence and you think about all the different directorates, all the different components that make up intelligence is that at its heart, the one thing that we all have in common whether you're an analyst, an operator, a science and technology specialist, a director of support officer, is that the one thing that cuts across all the other subcultures is that we're a culture of problem solvers.

And what the directorate of science and technology is called on to do is to try to stay abreast, to stay current, right, in current science and what the art of the possible is going forward in science and technology with the idea being of how do you take that knowledge and combine what you've learned, combine the different pieces to come up with new solutions to solve tough problems.

So we talked about the space program earlier. Right. The value of the space program, we were solving a problem. We couldn't see over the Iron Curtain. Right. And space offered an incredible domain. And we built incredible capabilities to see over that curtain. Right.

MICHAEL MORELL:

And you can give an example of that, right-- the SR71.

GLENN GAFFNEY:

You can go to the U2 spy plane, right-- SR71. It was about seeing over the Iron Curtain using the technology to get there, doing it in a unique  way. The SR71-- what's known as the ox cart to the S & T was a CIA DS & T program designed to solve a particular challenge.

MICHAEL MORELL:

Yeah. So the S & T creates its own platforms to collect intelligence.

GLENN GAFFNEY:

That's right.

MICHAEL MORELL:

Right. And, then, it also provides support to the HUMINT side of the agency--

GLENN GAFFNEY:

That's exactly right.

MICHAEL MORELL:

--in doing its job. Right?

GLENN GAFFNEY:

And that's one-- that's exactly right. And so that's one of the unique things about the S & T. CIA is an all source, all domain intelligence enterprise. It has unique authority that if the president and National Security Council need an operation, need a way to go get a secret, go after the truth and we can come up with a way to do it, we have the authority to go do it. Because of our role, because of that unique role, we don't do it ourselves, necessarily, all by ourselves. We partner with other agencies.

We have long-standing, deep partnerships with NSA in particular-- where NSA and CIA has worked very well together to gain new access to new capabilities and what have you. So yes. We develop capability to answer really tough problems.

But the other half of the business is what you would expect in, what I'll call, the classic espionage, right, HUMINT role, the capabilities that support the HUMINT operations that are going on out there every day, everything from disguise to communications to any one of a number of different things that you just-- are the bread and butter of day-to-day spying, to include things like bugs. Right. It's not a secret for anybody that bugs are out there. People bug things to be able to listen to be able to see-- eyes and ears that are unattended that allow you to be able to collect. The S & T's background is in developing those things and developing the technologies that support those things.

MICHAEL MORELL:

Yeah. So everything from bugs on the collection side to disguises on the HUMINT support operations side. I did want to take this opportunity and we can't talk about this but I do want take the opportunity to say that the S & T had a very, very significant role in the intelligence collection portion of finding Osama Bin Laden.

GLENN GAFFNEY:

We did.

MICHAEL MORELL:

That does not get talked about. And we can't talk about what you did. But I did want to give the S & T publicly the credit that it deserves because I do not believe the president would've had the confidence to go do what he did without the support that the S & T provided.

GLENN GAFFNEY:

Well, thank you. I was incredibly proud to have been the director of science and technology for six years. And I can't tell you how incredible it is to have been the director of science and technology during that run up and the operation as well.

MICHAEL MORELL:

But you know, what's interesting to me was your point about problem solving. Right. It was actually in a meeting in my office where the head of the counterterrorism center was explaining a problem that he had. And you said, "I think I have the solution." 

GLENN GAFFNEY:

That's right.

MICHAEL MORELL:

And it's exactly what you talked about.

GLENN GAFFNEY:

And that's exactly what we're supposed to be bringing to the table is listening to what are the challenges that are the ones that we just can't seem to solve. And the director of science and technology goes off and thinks about is there a way that we can get at this tremendous amount of men and women in the S & T all over the world working all different aspects of the different problems that are out there. It was no different in the discovery of the Bin Laden compound.

MICHAEL MORELL:

So that's another interesting point. I think people think science and technology, scientists and engineers back in Washington are not on the front lines. But many of your offices are on the front lines, right, in very dangerous situations. The movie, Argo, actually was a great example of that right. He was an S & T officer. And that's really important to remember that the S & T officers like the operations officers are on the front lines.

GLENN GAFFNEY:

That's right. Not only do we develop it-- they're the ones that are out there installing it and making it work every day.

MICHAEL MORELL:

Because they're the ones who understand it.

GLENN GAFFNEY:

That's right.

MICHAEL MORELL:

So because we're time limited, Glenn, I'm going to skip over another important point in your career. You're the founder and the first director of the CIA Talent Center-- which is to worry about and work all the issues related to human capital at the agency. That's a whole other discussion.

And it's a really important thing that you did. But I want to pivot now to In-Q-Tel which is where you work today-- where you hang your hat today. The 20th anniversary is next year. I hope you guys are planning a big party. But I think the place to start here in talking about In-Q-Tel is the importance of technology going forward to the intelligence community. How do you think about that? How do you talk about that?

GLENN GAFFNEY:

You know, so I think one of the brilliant things that happened 20 years ago in standing up In-Q-Tel was recognizing that the government wasn't going to drive the pace of technology that industry was going to drive the pace of technology.

And it was very focused back then in the '90s on the IT industry in particular. And we were looking at a transition for government driving it to U.S. industry driving it. Fast forward 20 years. And what we see now from In-Q-Tel as a strategic investor, right--

MICHAEL MORELL:

Maybe we should quickly define what In-Q-Tel does so that people can follow us here.

GLENN GAFFNEY:

Sure. So In-Q-Tel exists as a strategic investor. Is a not-for-profit. It sits at a unique bridge.

MICHAEL MORELL:

The seed money comes from the--

GLENN GAFFNEY:

Right. It sits at a unique bridge--

MICHAEL MORELL:

--U.S. government.

GLENN GAFFNEY:

--between the U.S. government, venture capital, and the startup world. The model was money would come in from the government. That money, then, would be for, as a strategic investor, using the money from the government to make investments where we saw two things, one-- the value of the technology commercially, had to be valuable commercially and two, the value of the technology to the intelligence business. Right. That's the charter. That's the original charter for In-Q-Tel and the way that we were moving forward.

Over the years, that model has gone from prolific investor to strategic investor, right, looking at, now, a global market, a global technological space where innovation is coming from all sectors across the world and looking at both the, what I'll call, not just the specific investments that are still the bread and butter of the business.

By the way, those investments, those investment dollars that come in or I should say the dollars that come in from the government are combined with other venture capital partners in making these. So the government gets anywhere from 12 to one to 15 to one return on their investment dollar, huge from that perspective. But what I want to focus on from an In-Q-Tel perspective is what I saw as a senior I think many seniors do see, which is the strategic landscape, the situational awareness, the position that In-Q-Tel sits in in this unique spot after being here for 20 years is actually seeing different technologies and the global competition that is going on across the globe and looking at what are the market factors that are forcing it and are adjusting it.

What will that mean for the future of the intelligence business? What will that mean relative to the way we think about policy, right-- that affects technology and technology development all from a situational awareness landscape perspective.

MICHAEL MORELL:

So how do you, Glenn, think about this competition between China and United States for these critical technologies?

GLENN GAFFNEY:

Yeah. So--

MICHAEL MORELL:

And how does In-Q-Tel play into that?

GLENN GAFFNEY:

So-- again, from that situational awareness perspective, understanding what's happening in the global landscape, looking at the way people are positioning themselves, using their equity to invest in different technologies and, then, what they are doing with those technologies and how they're applying them.

One of the things that really concerns me is looking at areas like bio and the future of biotech, looking at areas like machine learning and deep learning, the precursors to artificial intelligence. I think I see a China that is very willing to concede innovation and thought leadership to the United States.

What they seem to have done is put together a multi-year strategy to take our thought leadership and operationalize it in their context. They're amassing tremendous amounts of data using their own citizens to actually build their models in machine learning and deep learning.

Their plan to own the bio revolution the way the U.S. owned the silicon revolution, the IT revolution 20 years ago, they are deliberately moving and strategically moving to operationalize that thought leadership in that space.

MICHAEL MORELL:

So from a national security perspective, what are the really important technologies here that the Chinese are going after?

GLENN GAFFNEY:

Certainly, I think on the machine learning, deep learning front is absolutely critical. There are some deep questions that need to be addressed in that area that the U.S. needs to grapple with, things like explainability of models and the effect of collection bias and data bias in those models.

If we're going to rely on those things we're going to have to understand much deeper how they work and what's really happening. And we're going to need to explain it to the American public-- which is not normal, right-- particularly on the intelligence/national security scene. But it's necessary in order to have the kind of security in context with our values going forward. Huge race.

MICHAEL MORELL:

Would you put quantum computing in there?

GLENN GAFFNEY:

I would put quantum computing in there. I think the machine learning, deep learning is a nearer term piece. But you cannot ignore quantum, right, in this space. And I think the biotech piece is absolutely critical. What is happening in synthetic biology and the ability to develop organisms and modify organisms and where that whole future is going is a really important space. And it's really important for-- my opinion, for us-- to see it develop in a way that's consistent with the kind of values that we hold near and dear.

MICHAEL MORELL:

And In-Q-Tel is a piece of making sure that we stay competitive here?

GLENN GAFFNEY:

So In-Q-Tel is a piece of staying competitive-- gaining early access not just to the technology via the investments but to the insights based on that strategic awareness, situational awareness that we hold by watching these markets. The-- just the sheer volume of companies and exposure to the national/international markets that In-Q-Tel has is a huge benefit for the U.S.

MICHAEL MORELL:

And this has been a huge success. I mean, this is-- George Tenet started this thing. This has been a huge success over the last 20 years. Correct?

GLENN GAFFNEY:

Absolutely. Absolutely. And for me, it's always come down to a couple of key things, one, the strategic vision that In-Q-Tel has developed over the years. It wasn't born with it. It developed it. And the relationship between In-Q-Tel seniors and government seniors always bears that out.

But on the technology front, it comes in kind of two flavors. The way I like to describe it is, one, is what I'll call the shrink wrapped piece, the product that's being developed by commercial industry. We see value in that product as applied to the intelligence business.

It might be in the cyber security domain, the advanced analytics area-- where we're going to take the product and bring it inside the defense line and apply it and use it. But the other is in the componentry. There may be different things that we, the U.S. government, may not be interested in the particular product.

But the components that make up the product are critically important. And so we may have In-Q-Tel make three or four different investments all with commercial value. But what we're going to do is we're going to take the components from those--

MICHAEL MORELL:

Interesting.

GLENN GAFFNEY:

--and recombine them in a whole other way to get a whole other capability.

MICHAEL MORELL:

Understand.

GLENN GAFFNEY:

That's the reason for the S & T.

MICHAEL MORELL:

Yeah. That's cool. It goes back to your training, right, in college where you were putting all sorts of different things together.

GLENN GAFFNEY:

Exactly.

MICHAEL MORELL:

Glenn, your time is important. And our time is running short here. So I just want t ask you one more question. You didn't leave the agency to be an astronaut. You stayed. You stayed for an entire career. And so two questions, why? All right. And, then, the second question is what is the one thing that you would want people to know about the agency?

GLENN GAFFNEY:

The one thing I would like people to know about the agency is if you have it in your heart to serve this nation, there's no better place to serve this nation than in the Central Intelligence Agency. The sheer range of issues, challenges, the ability to work with some of the best and the brightest people in all different fields both in the agency and across the government and across industry says you can bring the very best minds and people together to work on problems that really matter to protect our nation, to protect the values that we hold dear.

And everyone there is motivated by the same thing. The job is to discover the truth and to be relentless in discovering the truth. And you bring the best of your ability. And you work with others who are trying to do the exact same thing, right, to do that very job.

That's what -- that's the one thing. Right. Why did I stay? I got to work during my career in analysis, in operations, technical operations and, then, in the director of science and technology as a whole eventually to be the associate director for talent looking at the talent needs across the whole agency. And I joined to get relevant work experience. I stayed, right, because the challenge was real. The ability to discover things that mattered that were important in terms of the way that we could solve problems and bring people together to work on those problems and produce intelligence that mattered for the safety and security of our nation.

It was new almost every day. And there was no plan to my career in terms of I'm going to do this and I'm going to do this. I just simply went in to work with great people every day to work on something that mattered. And every day was a new challenge. And I used to tell folks-- came for five, stayed for 31. I'd do it all over again tomorrow. And the next 31 would be completely different for the last 31. And that's what's so exciting.

MICHAEL MORELL:

Glenn, thank you very much for being with us.

GLENN GAFFNEY:

Thank you.