I served as the National Intelligence Officer for East Asia on the National Intelligence Council, within the Central Intelligence Agency and for the newly-created Director of National Intelligence. Here is the official description:
“The National Intelligence Council (NIC) is the Intelligence Community’s center for midterm and long-term strategic thinking. Its primary functions are to:
- Support the DNI in his role as head of the Intelligence Community.
- Provide a focal point for policymakers to task the Intelligence Community to answer their questions.
- Reach out to nongovernment experts in academia and the private sector to broaden the Intelligence Community’s perspective.
- Contribute to the Intelligence Community’s effort to allocate its resources in response to policymakers’ changing needs.
- Lead the Intelligence Community’s effort to produce National Intelligence Estimates (NIEs) and other NIC products.
NIEs are the DNI’s most authoritative written judgments concerning national security issues. They contain the coordinated judgments of the Intelligence Community regarding the likely course of future events. The NIC’s goal is to provide policymakers with the best, unvarnished, and unbiased information—regardless of whether analytic judgments conform to US policy. National Intelligence Officers’ (NIOs) primary functions are to:
- Advise the DNI.
- Interact regularly with senior intelligence consumers and support their current and longer-term needs.
- Produce top-quality estimative intelligence in a process that is efficient and responsive.
- Engage with outside experts to tap their knowledge and insights.
- Help assess the capabilities and needs of IC analytic producers.
- Promote collaboration among IC analytic producers on strategic warning, advanced analytic tools, and methodologies.
- Articulate substantive priorities to guide intelligence collection, evaluation, and procurement.”