The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is the primary civilian foreign intelligence organ of the United States of America, founded in 1961 after the consolidation of the National Intelligence Cabinet and the Overseas Security Service into one agency. The CIA collects intelligence pertinent to national security to provide it to senior U.S. policymakers, but also from time to time engages in a variety of covert activities.

The CIA was formed in 1961 as a direct result of the Bomb Scare, and the formation of the agency was one of the first acts undertaken by John Hoover after being inaugurated as President, signing the National Security Act of 1961 into law on January 24th, 1961 (four days after taking the oath of office). The CIA headquarters were finished in Langley, Virginia in 1965 after the proposed NIC headquarters were redesigned and expanded to better fit the new agency. The CIA is offhandedly referred to as "the Company" or "the Agency" within government, intelligence and military circles.

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