McNamara named head of key intelligence program

President Bush has named Thomas McNamara to be program manager of the Information Sharing Environment, a critical component of the Office of the National Director of Intelligence, the White House has announced.

McNamara succeeds John Russack, the initial appointee who created the program. Russack resigned abruptly in January, less than a year after taking the position.

Published reports indicate he was frustrated with the organizational structure of ISE. Being located in ODNI meant he only had authority to work with the U.S. intelligence agencies which fall under the new office's jurisdiction; he had no authority to work with federal, state, local and tribal agencies that also need to share and receive intelligence.

Russack had a lengthy career in government service. He came to ODNI from the Energy Department, where he served as intelligence director. Before that, he held several senior positions at the CIA.

McNamara also has a lengthy government resume, but with closer ties to the administration. A career diplomat, he served from 1988 to 1997 as ambassador to Colombia and returned to work at the National Security Council as special assistant to the president for national security affairs and senior director for international programs and African affairs.

A spokesman at ODNI did not know when McNamara would start in his new position.


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