The return of Stephen Kappes to the CIA, where he will soon become the agency's number-two official, is likely to help smooth some of the turbulence the spy agency has experienced since the upheaval that followed the departure of George Tenet.
Kappes, 54, has served as a station chief in Moscow and Kuwait. He's fluent in Russian and Farsi. He was also the chief negotiator in the talks that convinced Muammar Ghaddafi to give up Libya's weapons program.
And when Kappes stormed out of the agency in November of 2004, dissatisfied with the leadership of Porter Goss, his departure sparked an exodus of senior CIA officials.
Kappes spent 25 years at the CIA — most of it undercover, much of it in the Middle East. His colleagues say he may be the best spy to emerge from the agency in a generation. NPR's Mary Louise Kelly has a profile.