Porter Goss was sworn in Friday as the new CIA chief, overseer of a U.S. intelligence community that has been intensely criticized for its failures concerning the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and the Iraq war.

In an Oval Office ceremony, Goss, accompanied by his wife, Mariel, was sworn by White House chief of staff Andy Card as President Bush stood nearby.

Goss succeeds George Tenet (search), who caught many by surprise in June when he resigned after seven years, having serving two administrations.

In addition to serving as CIA director, Goss will have another role as head of a loose confederation of the 14 other agencies that complete the U.S. intelligence community, including the FBI and National Security Agency (search).

Goss, 65, moved to the CIA from Congress, having represented southwestern Florida in the House since 1989. The Republican lawmaker served as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee (search) for most of the last eight years.

The Senate approved his nomination on a 77-17 vote Wednesday, over protests from some Democrats who said he had too many Republican ties for a job that requires independence.

"Porter Goss's confirmation ... represents perhaps the most important changing of the guard for our intelligence community since 1947," when Congress created the CIA, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kans., said during Goss's nomination hearing Thursday. "He will be the first director of central intelligence in a new, and hopefully better, intelligence community."

A CIA and Army intelligence officer during the 1960s, Goss is only the second congressman to lead the CIA, following former House member and future president George H.W. Bush.

Should Democrat John Kerry be elected president, he would be expected to pick a different CIA director. Neither Kerry nor his running mate, Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., voted on the confirmation.

In its scathing report of the nation's intelligence apparatus, the commission investigating the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks faulted the performance not only of the nation's intelligence agencies, but also of the congressional committees overseeing them.

Congress is likely to pass legislation before year's end establishing a national intelligence director, which leaves Goss's position up in the air. It's uncertain who would oversee all 15 of the country's spy agencies and roughly 15 percent of their budgets.

Bush has not yet said whether Goss would fill that position once it is created. The president has, however, signed executive orders granting the new director of central intelligence broader powers in the interim.

FOX News' James Rosen and The Associated Press contributed to this report.