WASHINGTON – While his name may not be as familiar as other prominent members of the president's Cabinet, Mike Pompeo has been a key player in President Donald Trump's national security team, serving as the director of the Central Intelligence Agency since January 2017.
Before he was tapped to be the nation's spy chief, Pompeo was a four-term Republican congressman from Kansas.
He rode into Washington in 2010 on the Tea Party wave and was known as a solid conservative, identifying as pro-life and supporting legislation that banned funding for abortion. Those views stem from his Christian beliefs, which he's carried with him into the Trump administration.
He is part of a weekly Bible study, which CBN News first reported on in July of 2017.
Pompeo – Trump's choice to be the next secretary of state – is seen to be more aligned with the president than outgoing Secretary Rex Tillerson. He has a more hawkish stance on North Korea and has signaled for a regime change in Pyongyang.
Pompeo gained national security experience serving on the U.S. House Intelligence Committee. He also learned the inner workings of the State Department as part of the House Select Benghazi Committee. The panel was tasked with investigating the 2012 attack on the U.S. mission and compound that led to the deaths of several Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stephens.
Prior to his life of public service, he founded Wichita-based Thayer Aerospace, a leading manufacturer for the commercial aerospace, defense, and space industries. According to his CIA biography, he served as its CEO for more than a decade. He also was president of Sentry International, an oil-based company.
Pompeo's military background dates back to college. He graduated first in his class at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1986. While on active duty, he was deployed to Europe as a cavalry officer before the fall of the Berlin Wall. He also graduated from Harvard Law School, where he served as editor of the Harvard Law Review.
Before Pompeo can assume his new role as secretary of state, he must testify before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, chaired by retiring Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee.
"I had a very good conversation with Director Pompeo this morning and look forward to meeting with him soon," Corker said in a statement released by his office. "As I shared with the president, the committee will consider his nomination as expeditiously as possible."
The committee will vote to send his nomination to the entire Senate, which will confirm the nomination by simple majority. No date has been set on either of these proceedings.
Pompeo and his wife, Susan, have an adult son who lives in New York.