Former Assistant Director for South and Central Asia, Central Intelligence Agency
Paul Farley is a former senior Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officer with over 32 years of service in said Agency. His most recent position was Assistant Director of the CIA for South and Central Asia (AD/SCAMC), in charge of CIA’s multi-directorate operations focused on that region. In addition to managing a budget in the hundreds of millions of dollars, Paul was responsible for over a thousand officers serving in high-risk, complex and ambiguous overseas environments, and his position required working closely with U.S. government policy and senior civilian and defense leaders on some of the most complex issues facing U.S. national security. Paul’s position involved frequent engagement with foreign leaders and senior government officials while he either lived overseas or was on official travel to foreign posts. Carrying out responsibilities in a region with nuclear-armed countries, terrorist threats, war/conflict, and aggressive third country actors required active engagement with multiple CIA elements, U.S. government partners, and foreign partners. Prior to being AD/SCAMC, Paul was Assistant Director of the CIA for the Western Hemisphere (AD/WHMC). This region, on America’s “doorstep,” also required frequent U.S. inter-agency engagement on a host of issues pertaining to U.S. national security, as well as regular overseas engagement with foreign and U.S. government partners. In the aforementioned Assistant Director positions, Paul was part of the CIA senior leadership team that worked on strategic resource and planning issues, setting the course for CIA’s ongoing and future missions.
Paul served in various other senior leadership positions in CIA’s Counterterrorism Center and Special Activities Center, in addition to his various senior leadership roles in foreign field stations in Latin America, South Asia and the Middle East.
Whether serving in relatively benign overseas environments or in multiple conflict or war zones as a CIA Directorate of Operations (DO) officer, Paul greatly honed his experience in tactical and strategic planning, operating in ambiguous crisis or conflict situations, and still getting the mission done. Through proven leadership and deep experience, Paul was able to build successful teams and lead them to accomplish CIA’s core mission. Due to high-stress and high-risk environments in which many officers under Paul’s command lived and worked, he was an emphatic advocate for CIA officer – and family – wellbeing. As someone who was injured in a war zone, Paul’s focus on officer/employee wellbeing and resiliency – in the broadest terms – was also personal.
Paul received a number of awards during his CIA career, to include the Presidential Rank Award (twice), the Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal, the National Intelligence Award, the CIA Director’s Award for Distinguished Service, and the Exceptional Service Medal.