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Sisterhood of spies: Women now hold the top positions at the CIA

CIA Director Gina Haspel has named Cynthia "Didi" Rapp deputy director for analysis, making her the agency's top analyst.
CIA Director Gina Haspel arrives for a briefing with US House leaders about the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi on Capitol Hill on Dec. 12, 2018.Saul Loeb / AFP - Getty Images file

CIA Director Gina Haspel has appointed another woman to the top level of the agency, naming Cynthia "Didi" Rapp as deputy director for analysis, essentially the top analyst in the CIA. The appointment means that the top three directorates of the agency, for operations, analysis and science and technology are now all headed by women.

Haspel, the first woman director of the agency, had previously named Elizabeth Kimber, like her a 34-year veteran of the agency, as the first female deputy director for operations, responsible for the agency's worldwide spy network. Kimber and Rapp join Dawn Meyerriecks, the deputy director for science and technology, as the top executives in the agency's traditional power centers.

It's the first time all three directorates have been headed by women. The CIA work force is now almost 50 percent women, said a U.S. intelligence official.

"Didi Rapp brings broad, deep expertise from across the Agency and the Intelligence Community to her new role as the head of our Directorate of Analysis. With her engaging leadership style and reputation for objectivity, Didi will excel in leading our talented analytic cadre," said to Brittany Bramell, CIA director of public affairs.

Rapp, a Middle East expert, had been the agency's director of public affairs under Director David Petraeus and deputy executive director under Haspel. She had also overseen production of the President's Daily Briefing while at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

Rapp's husband, father and mother all worked at the CIA.

Haspel named Courtney Simmons Elwood as the agency's general counsel and Sonya Holt as director of diversity in the months immediately after assuming the director's job last May. Holt is like Haspel, Rapp and Kimber a 30-year-plus veteran of the agency.