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Executive to lead State Dept. intel office

WASHINGTON, June 12 (UPI) -- President Bush has named a senior executive from investment bankers Goldman Sachs to head the State Department's small but well-regarded intelligence operation.

Randall Fort is currently vice president and director of global security for Goldman Sachs, which he joined in November 1996, and where he has also served as chief of staff to the company's president and co-chief operating officer.

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He was named in a little-noticed Friday afternoon announcement from the White House as the intended nominee to head the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, known as INR, at the Department of State.

According to a biography on the Web site of Washington's Eisenhower Institute, where he is a director, Fort was previously a senior official at INR, serving from 1989-1993 as deputy assistant secretary for functional analysis and research at the State Department. He joined INR from the Department of the Treasury, where he was special assistant to the secretary for national security and director of the office of intelligence support from 1987-1989.

Prior to that he spent five years as a member of the professional staff for the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board at the White House from 1982-1987.

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After he left government service in 1993, he worked at defense and government contractor TRW, Inc. until moving to Goldman Sachs.

Fort was one of a number of former senior State Department officials who wrote a letter supporting John Bolton as nominee for U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Bolton faced criticism during the confirmation process for hectoring and bullying INR officials when they disagreed with him.

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