Today, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency resigned. There are few positions in government more vital than the head of the agency with primary responsibility to provide the strategic intelligence Presidents use to inform their most pressing decisions on foreign policy and national security. Further, the agency conducts sensitive covert operations to protect U.S. interests—many of them very risky.

Picking the next director is a serious matter. Here are several challenges facing the director of the CIA:

Combating transnational terrorism. This war is far from over. There are estimated to be twice as many al-Qaeda operatives in Iraq as there were last year. The recent attack on the Benghazi consulate remind us all that America and its interests are still in the crosshairs. The Obama Administration’s strategy is over-reliant on drone strikes and covert action. What is needed is a fresh and independent perspective, and a new director could provide that.

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