WASHINGTON, June 8, 2016 —
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, FBI
Director James Comey and DIA Director Vincent Stewart today will address the
Fifth Annual Intelligence Community Pride Summit, entitled "Count on Your
Community." The trio -- who rarely together address one assembly outside
the houses of Congress -- will applaud LGBTA -- A for Allies -- officers for
sharing their authentic selves at work each day, empowering the mission of each
of the 17 elements of the Intelligence Community.
DNI Clapper -- a self-proclaimed "intelligence
geezer" whose own professional experience parallels Americans' changing
attitudes toward the LGBTA community -- is expected to reflect on the evolution
toward equality in the military and the Intelligence Community.
"When I spoke at this summit two years ago, I mentioned
that I was serving in the Air Force when 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' was enacted...
I am thankful that -- as a nation -- we have put that policy behind us... I won't dwell on the issue of Transgender
rights... I know our nation is currently engaged in a complex conversation...
with strong feelings on both sides. But
here in the IC, we have the chance to lead by example... So I'll say without equivocation...
in IC facilities... you can use whatever restroom you feel comfortable and safe
Marine Corps Lieutenant General Vincent Stewart -- who leads
the Defense Intelligence Agency, host to this year's gathering -- yesterday
said, "This summit isn't about a complicated, abstract idea. It's about treating others as we would like
to be treated: with dignity, respect and
After the three keynote speakers, roughly 1,000 summit
participants -- in-person and via video teleconference from posts around the
world – will take part in 'breakout sessions" on five topics: "Seniors [senior officers] Helping Drive
Change," "LGBT Ally Training," "Extended Enterprise Management: Getting Inclusive," "Boots to
Rainbow Suits: Successfully Transitioning
from Military to Civilian Life" and "Building Trans Inclusivity."
NSA Officer and IC Pride member Chris reflected on the
significance of the summit, "Before joining the IC, I worked in the
private sector and was proudly out. More
than a decade ago, when I first joined the IC, the culture was still very
conservative. I made a personal decision
– driven mostly by fear -- to go back into the closet. Since then, there has been incredible and
tremendous positive change for LGBT employees in the IC – so much so, in fact,
that it inspired me to 'come out' again a few years ago and become a change
agent myself, continuing the work of those who pioneered such transformation
Chris' decision to lead from within reflects the evolution
of the environment within the IC. FBI
Director Comey said yesterday in advance of the summit, "Diversity
enriches not just the FBI, not just the Intelligence Community, but our country
as a whole. We must foster an
environment where all of our employees are respected, are encouraged to be who
they are, and are afforded every opportunity to thrive."
To learn more about America's LGBT Spies, whose authentic
leadership helps them thrive as public servants, see coverage of the IC's panel
at South by Southwest, "America's LGBT Spies: Secret Agents of Change."
For media inquiries--including requests for interviews with
America's LGBT Spies--please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.