EXCLUSIVE: While President-elect Joe Biden has yet to announce his pick for CIA director, an array of names has been highlighted, and among them is Darrell M. Blocker -- one of the highest-serving persons of color to have served in the clandestine service, Fox News has learned.
According to a source familiar with the talks, the 32-year U.S. intelligence community veteran -- who retired in 2018 -- was approached about the position days after the election, with discussions ongoing.
The appointment, if announced and confirmed, would mark the first Black person to hold the esteemed intelligence position.
Blocker was awarded the Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal upon his departure, having served four years as an Air Force analyst and an additional 28 as an operations officer in the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), including nine within the executive ranks of the Senior Intelligence Service, including as chief of station and chief of Africa Division, per his official bio.
His credentials listed online include a French language proficiency with 22 years living and working in Asia, Africa, Europe and South Asia for the CIA and the United States Air Force.
Last year, ABC News documented a storied slice of Blocker's clandestine career working undercover in Uganda, in which one of his front guises was as a singer for a local "Kampala Jazz All-Stars" band as its lead singer, something of a stretch from the Georgia native's days singing in the local Hepizah church choir.
Blocker is serving as the chief operating officer for multinational security firm MOSAIC and on the board for two nonprofits pertaining to preventing "the exploitation of youth in foster care (Peace4Kids.org) and the human trafficking of youth and women (HumanSlavery.com)," his biography states.
It remains unclear when Biden will select his nominee for the critical role. As it stands, there are 23 members of the Biden-Harris transition team for the Intelligence Community, nine of whom are persons of color. Yet some critics have lamented that, despite public vows for diversity in his administration, his appointments so far are a reflection of the long-running politician's inner circle.
Recent press reports have indicated that Biden is inclined to select former Obama national security adviser Tom Donilon as CIA director. Michael Morell has also been poised as a front-runner, having served as the spy agency's acting director in both 2011 and again in 2013. However, a potential Morell nod is said to already be drawing strong opposition from the progressives in the Democratic party over past comments about the CIA's use of "enhanced interrogation," which many on the left have understood to be controversially defending the torture techniques.
A spokesperson for the Biden transition team declined to comment on any forthcoming nominations or when they would be announced.