Chris Collins is an agent with the CIA.
He is not a field agent with the organization when we first meet him - he is a bit higher up the food chain having attained the impressive position of Deputy Director after "long, hard years of CIA service". He worked his way up that chain, though, via his many years of dark alley work in the Middle East, including many places where the word American was not heard with friendly ears. And Collins had come to that line of work after a few more years in the Office of Naval Intelligence. All things considered, there is no one who would not say Collins paid his dues.
In return for that he has managed to get hold of a long desired object - a beautiful sailing cruiser which was "an extravagance that had raised eyebrows from some people" but which he felt he had more than earned it with all the time spent at the Agency. His love of the water in general and boating in specific will be repeatedly shown in his activities.
Collins sports, not surprisingly, "the enviable tan of a sailing enthusiast. With his crystal blue eyes and wavy hair graying sophisticatedly at the temples, he looked like he could have been on the pages of a yachting brochure". He is married to Alice and from the sound of things when we meet her early on, there is more than an little trouble in paradise and it sounds like neither has a clue how to handle it, should either actually want to.
Things will change considerably in the series. How would be revealing too much and spoil things but Collins will find himself back in those dark alleys though in different climes. And he will be joined on several occasions by the lovely and very deadly Tsu Kim, an operative worthy of her own series.
Notable line by Collins:
"I always try to do the right thing ... It's just not always clear what the right thing is."