Winter Park Institute

Porter Goss

Former Congressman and CIA Director


Porter Goss: Timely Intelligence Matters; Taking on National Security Challenges of the Global Century

Speaker Video

Event Details

Porter Goss—Former Congressman and Director of the CIA—presented his thoughts on current global affairs through the unique lens of his experience as an overseas agent handler, a legislator with primary oversight responsibility for Intelligence in the US House of Representatives and the President's Daily Briefer as CIA Director.

Speaker Bio

Porter J. Goss served as the 19th and last Director of Central Intelligence from September 24, 2004 until April 21, 2005. At that time, he became the first Director of the Central Intelligence Agency under the newly signed Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act. He continued as D/CIA until May 26, 2006.

Previously, Mr. Goss served as the Congressman from Southwest Florida for almost 16 years. He was Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence from 1997 until his nomination as DCI in August 2004. He served for almost a decade as a member of the committee, which oversees the intelligence community and authorizes its annual budget. During the 107th Congress, Mr. Goss co-chaired the joint congressional inquiry into the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. He was the second Director of Central Intelligence to have served in Congress.

In addition to Intelligence, Mr. Goss' Congressional career focused on the environment, House ethics, senior issues, health care reform and the Rules Committee. He was a leader on Everglade's legislation and takes great pride in the passage of the Ricky Ray Bill which offered relief to victims who contracted HIV through a contaminated blood supply. Mr. Goss was awarded the Distinguished Service Award in 2006.

Mr. Goss was a U.S. Army Intelligence officer from 1960 to 1962. He served as a clandestine service officer with the Central Intelligence Agency from 1962 until 1972, when a serious illness forced his retirement. While at the CIA, he completed assignments in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Europe.

After leaving the CIA, Mr. Goss and his family settled in Sanibel, Florida, where he was a small business owner and co-founder of a local newspaper. He was an active leader in the incorporation of the City of Sanibel in 1974 and was elected its first Mayor. From 1983 until 1988, Mr. Goss was a member of the Lee County (Florida) Commission, serving as its chairman in1985 and 1986.

Mr. Goss holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in classical Greek from Yale University, graduating with high honors. He was born in Waterbury, Connecticut on November 26, 1938. He and his wife, Mariel, have four children and 12 grandchildren.