If approved by the Senate, Haspel would be the first woman ever to run the Central Intelligence Agency.
Despite a controversial past, her rise is not surprising — she previously served as CIA deputy director and led worldwide undercover spying operations, a CIA mission that has gained renewed importance in recent years.
Haspel, 61, joined the spy agency in 1985 and served as chief of station in several posts around the world.
Rising through the ranks, she earned the job of deputy director of the National Clandestine Service, and was finally named to be service director in 2013.
But she was quickly replaced after political questions were raised over her role in post-9/11 interrogation operations, which involved methods widely deemed to be torture, such as…