CIA taps 34-year agency veteran as first woman to lead its clandestine arm

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(CNN) — The CIA has tapped Beth Kimber to lead its Directorate of Operations, making her the first woman to lead the agency's clandestine arm in its 70-year history.

Kimber, a 34-year veteran of the agency, is currently the assistant director of Europe and Eurasia Mission Center and took on an additional role during CIA director Gina Haspel's transition, serving as acting deputy director of the CIA.

In her new role, Kimber will lead the CIA's efforts to "strengthen national security and foreign policy objectives through the clandestine collection of human intelligence and by conducting Covert Action as directed by the President," according to the agency.

"With nearly 34 years of experience and a proven ability to deliver with impact on CIA's operational mission, Beth Kimber will be an exceptional leader of our Directorate of Operations," Brittany Bramell, the CIA's director of public affairs, told CNN in a statement.

During her career at the CIA, Kimber spent time overseeing the agency's so-called "Russia group," which focuses on clandestine operations involving Russian targets and services. She will step into her new leadership role at a time of heightened tensions between Washington and Moscow.

Haspel was sworn in as the first woman to serve as CIA director in May when she replaced Mike Pompeo after he was named secretary of state by President Donald Trump.

CBS News was first to report that Kimber was named to lead the CIA's operational and analytical efforts.

This story was first published on CNN.com, "CIA taps 34-year agency veteran as first woman to lead its clandestine arm."