Fast Facts: National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair

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Dennis Blair

Charles Dharapak / AP

After 16 months on the job, the AP reports that National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair is resigning. How did he rise to that post?

Until his decision to step down on Thursday, Blair was serving as the U.S.’ third director of national intelligence — a position that was created in response to concerns regarding the country’s inability to stop the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

What made Blair qualified for the position? Here are some fast facts on his life.

– Born February 4, 1947, in Kittery, Maine
– A 1968 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy
– Named the nation’s third Director of National Intelligence on January 29, 2009.
– Was awarded four Defense Distinguished Service Medals over his career
– Has received decorations from Japan, Thailand, the Republic of Korea and Australia.
– Rapidly rose through the ranks as a Rhodes Scholar (spending time at Oxford with Bill Clinton), while also serving as a White House fellow.
– Served as the Central Intelligence Agency’s first associate director of military support, and also worked on the National Security Council.
– After retiring from the Navy in 2002, he served as head of the Institute for Defense Analyses, a Pentagon-funded think tank.