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Acting CIA chief has been through this before

By Pam Benson, CNN
November 11, 2012 -- Updated 1205 GMT (2005 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Michael Morell filled in for two months last year after Leon Panetta left the CIA
  • A career intelligence officer, Morell joined the CIA in 1980
  • He held a variety of posts, including overseeing analysts, before becoming deputy director

(CNN) -- Once again, Michael Morell is being called on to fill in as acting director of the CIA, this time after the resignation of David Petraeus on Friday.

It was only last year, during the two-month gap from the time Leon Panetta left the CIA until Petraeus took over the helm, that Deputy Director Morell oversaw the agency.

The career intelligence officer joined the CIA in 1980. Much of his early career focused on Asian issues, and he has had a steady climb up the career ladder.

He served as then-CIA Director George Tenet's executive assistant and presided over the daily intelligence briefing for President George W. Bush. After a three-year overseas assignment in the mid-2000s, he returned to headquarters, where he became the associate deputy director responsible for the day-to-day operation of the agency.

After spending two years as the director of intelligence, overseeing the work of analysts, he was appointed to his current position as Deputy Director in May 2010.

In his statement on the resignation of Petraeus, President Barack Obama expressed trust in Morell continuing the work of the CIA.

"I have the utmost confidence in Acting Director Michael Morell and the men and women of the CIA who work every day to keep our nation safe," he said.

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