Cover of From Mandate to Blueprint by Thomas Fingar
From Mandate to Blueprint
Lessons from Intelligence Reform
Thomas Fingar


264 pages.

Paperback ISBN: 9781503628670
Ebook ISBN: 9781503628687

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In From Mandate to Blueprint, Thomas Fingar offers a guide for new federal government appointees faced with the complex task of rebuilding institutions and transitioning to a new administration. Synthesizing his own experience implementing the most comprehensive reforms to the national security establishment since 1947, Fingar provides crucial guidance to newly appointed officials.

When Fingar was appointed the first Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Analysis in 2005, he discovered the challenges of establishing a new federal agency and implementing sweeping reforms of intelligence procedure and performance. The mandate required prompt action but provided no guidance on how to achieve required and desirable changes. Fingar describes how he defined and prioritized the tasks involved in building and staffing a new organization, integrating and improving the work of sixteen agencies, and contending with pressure from powerful players.

For appointees without the luxury of taking command of fully staffed and well-functioning federal agencies, From Mandate to Blueprint is an informed and practical guide for the challenges ahead.

About the author

Thomas Fingar is a Shorenstein APARC Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University. His books include Fateful Decisions: Choices That Will Shape China's Future (with Jean Oi, Stanford, 2020) and Reducing Uncertainty: Intelligence Analysis and National Security (Stanford, 2011).

"From Mandate to Blueprint should be required reading for all policy makers. The thought process and attention to detail that Tom Fingar provides are directly applicable to all aspects of policy making, not just intelligence reform. The tools are the same: people, mission, priorities, and end state. A must-read."

—Richard Armitage, former Deputy Secretary of State

"There is no better time for this thoughtful, essential book to instruct government servants on what to know and do, through Tom Fingar's trenchant examples from fixing US intelligence. From Mandate to Blueprint is a must-read for old hands and newbies in public service."

—Thomas R. Pickering, former Under Secretary of State and Ambassador to the UN, Russia, India and Israel

"From Mandate to Blueprint provides timely insight into the challenges facing new federal appointees. Drawing on decades of experience in bureaucratic structures, Tom Fingar shares lessons learned in the aftermath of 9/11. This book should become a valuable reference work for the intelligence community."

—Charles S. Robb, co-chair of the WMD Commission

"The smooth running of government has been under siege for some time. A new team gives us the opportunity to halt and change direction. With From Mandate to Blueprint, Tom Fingar takes lessons he learned from intelligence reform and broadens them for today."

—General Michael V. Hayden (Ret.), former Director, CIA and NSA