Joe Biden is said to be considering Darrell Blocker for the role of CIA director, which would make the former station chief and 32-year intelligence veteran the first black person to take on the top job.
A source told Fox News discussions between the President-elect’s team and Blocker began just days after the presidential election.
Biden unveiled several of his Cabinet and national security picks this week including Barack Obama‘s former deputy secretary of state Antony Blinken as his Secretary of State, Obama’s second-term Secretary of State John Kerry as his US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate and Obama’s deputy national security adviser Avril Haines as his Director of National Intelligence.
He is yet to announce an appointment for the CIA director role and both ex-National Security Adviser Tom Donilon and ex-Acting CIA Director Michael Morell are also rumored to be contenders.
Joe Biden is said to be considering Darrell Blocker (pictured in 2019) for the role of CIA director, which would make the former station chief and 32-year intelligence veteran the first black person to take on the top job
The source said Blocker’s name was also in the ring and that conversations were still ongoing between him and Biden.
Blocker’s three-decade career at the intelligence agency could make him a strong candidate for the top job.
He started out as an analyst with the Air Force for four years before he joined the CIA where he rose up the ranks and took up various undercover roles as an operations officer over a career spanning almost three decades.
Several of his roles were within the executive ranks of the Senior Intelligence Service, including as chief of the operational training facility, Deputy Director of the Counterterrorism Center and Chief of Africa Division.
He also served multiple times as a Chief of Station with his roles sending him all across Europe, Asia and Africa, living in countries including Uganda, Pakistan, Senegal and Italy.
He retired from the intelligence community in 2018 as the most senior black officer in the CIA’s Directorate of Operations and was recognized with the Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal – one of the highest honors given to a careers officer.
A source told Fox News discussions between Biden (above) and Blocker began just days after the presidential election
Blocker is now an ABC News Contributor, Chief Operating Officer of strategic crisis management advisory firm MOSAIC and National Security Program Manager for counterterrorism, security and intelligence solutions provider CT-Watch.
He also sits on the board of nonprofits Peace4Kids.org – an organization working to improve the future of youth in foster care – and HumanSlavery.com – which works to end human trafficking.
Aside from national intelligence, Blocker’s other main passion is music.
He is well-known for having combined his two loves during his time at the CIA forming a band in Uganda which he said helped him hide in plain sight as a spy.
‘My clandestine activities were enhanced by being viewed as a singer, because who would ever think that one could be both?’ Blocker told ABC News last year.
‘That is a leap too far for most and I honestly feel that it kept me safer by being in plain sight.’
A young Blocker started singing in his local church choir growing up in Georgia before he joined the glee club at the University of Georgia.
Blocker’s three-decade career at the intelligence agency could make him a strong candidate for the top job. He started out as an analyst with the Air Force for four years before he joined the CIA where he took up various undercover roles over a three-decade career
Blocker (second right with Richard Frankel, Tony Schiena, and Dan Lavi last year) served multiple times as a Chief of Station. He retired in 2018 as the most senior black officer in the CIA’s Directorate of Operations
He continued performing during various postings overseas, joining a band in Dakar, Senegal, in 1996 that played weekly at a club for diplomats.
When he moved to Uganda in 2003 as an intelligence official under the guise of an American embassy employee, Blocker joined the Kampala Jazz All-Stars band with an American diplomat.
He told ABC his side project helped him in his espionage role by ‘expos[ing] me to a whole lot more people than I would have only met at the diplomatic receptions.’
If Blocker comes out of his intelligence career retirement to work with the Biden administration, he could find a bandmate in the form of new Secretary of State Blinken.
Blinken is also a singer and guitarist and has a Spotify page of original hits.
Ex-National Security Adviser Tom Donilon (left) and ex-Acting CIA Director Michael Morell (right) are also rumored to be contenders
Biden unveiled several of his Cabinet and national security picks this week but is yet to announce an appointment for the CIA director role. Pictured the CIA headquarters at Langley, Virginia
However, as well as Blocker, Donilon and Morell have also been rumored to be in the running for the CIA director role.
Two sources told Politico this week that ex-Obama national security adviser Tom Donilon was the favorite.
Morell is another contender however he is a controversial choice among key Democrat senators after he has been accused of defending the CIA’s past use of torture.
The name of Ex-Obama Homeland Security secretary Jeh Johnson, who infamously failed to close Guantanamo Bay prison, has also come up for the role, Politico reported.
The Biden administration has not revealed when it will confirm a pick.