"The United States Intelligence Community (IC) is often discussed as if it is a single entity, like a corporation, with the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) as CEO [Chief Executive Officer]. In reality, the IC is a collection of 17 component organizations within six separate departments headed by cabinet secretaries and an independent agency that all carry out intelligence-related functions. The position of DNI was created in accordance with a recommendation of the Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, more commonly known as the 9/11 Commission. In making its recommendation, 9/11 Commission observed a lack of central coordinating authority among the then 16 component organizations of the IC, partly as a result of separate statutory missions and administrative barriers to intelligence and information sharing. Congress created the position of the DNI through passage of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act (P.L. 108-458, or IRTPA) in 2004. By creating the position of the DNI, the IRTPA eliminated the position of the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI). The DCI position was created by presidential letter in 1946 and formally established through the National Security Act of 1947 (P.L. 80-253). Through a 'triple-hatted' arrangement, the DCI simultaneously served as community manager of the IC, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and chief intelligence advisor to the President. With the passage of IRTPA, the DNI assumed responsibility as manager of the IC and principal intelligence advisor to the President, leaving leadership of the CIA to the Director of the CIA."
CRS In Focus, IF10470