Jack Devine, a former boss of convicted spy Aldrich Ames, has been promoted to the No. 2 post in the agency's clandestine service.

Devine, who was chief of the CIA's Rome station in the late 1980s while Ames was there, was selected by CIA Director James Woolsey to replace John MacGaffin as associate deputy director of operations, spokesman Mark Mansfield said Thursday."He is a highly experienced, talented operations officer who has very strong leadership skills and is committed to change at the agency," Mansfield said. "He's an innovative manager."

Devine most recently was chief of the operations directorate's Latin American division. The operations directorate runs CIA's foreign agents and covert operations.

The Devine promotion was first reported by The Washington Post, which said he was not faulted in the CIA inspector general's recent report on the agency's handling of the Ames scandal. The inspector general had singled out numerous CIA managers for poor judgment and miscues that enabled Ames to pass secrets to the Soviets, and later the Russians, for more than eight years without being caught.

Ames was arrested last February. In April he was sentenced to life in prison.

Devine was Ames' boss in Rome during a period in the late 1980s when Ames was working for the Kremlin and depositing his payoffs in a Swiss bank. Devine's predecessor as head of the Rome station, Alan Wolfe, was among 11 senior agency officers reprimanded by Woolsey in September for not recognizing the spy in their midst.

The man Devine has replaced as the No. 2 executive in the CIA's clandestine service, John MacGaffin, quit last week after Woolsey moved to demote him and another official for violating a Woolsey decree that no awards be given to officials who were subjects of the inspector general's internal investigation of the Ames case.

Devine's immediate superior now is Ted Price, head of the clandestine arm of the CIA, who was among the 11 officials reprimanded by Woolsey. The Post reported that Price is expected to retire early next year, and that Devine is his logical successor.