John Brennan Former Director Central Intelligence Agency

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John O. Brennan currently serves as a Distinguished Fellow at the Center on National Security at Fordham Law School, a Distinguished Scholar at the University of Texas at Austin, a Senior Advisor at Kissinger Associates Inc, and a consultant to a variety of private sector companies. 

John Brennan served as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency from March 8, 2013 until January 20, 2017. As Director, he was responsible for leading and managing intelligence collection, analysis, covert action, counterintelligence, and liaison relationships with foreign intelligence services. From January 2009 to March 2013, he served as Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism. During that time, he advised President Obama on counterterrorism strategy and helped coordinate the US Government’s approach to homeland security, including its policies for responding to terrorism, cyber attacks, natural disasters, and pandemics.

John Brennan began his service in government at CIA, where he worked from 1980 to 2005. At CIA, he specialized in Middle Eastern affairs and counterterrorism. He also served as the CIA’s daily intelligence briefer to President Bill Clinton, Chief of Staff to then Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet, and Deputy Executive Director of the CIA. In 2003, he led a multi-agency effort to establish what would become the National Counterterrorism Center, becoming the Center’s first Director in 2004. After retiring from CIA in 2005, John Brennan worked in the private sector for three years, during which time he also served as Chairman of the Board of the not-for-profit Intelligence and National Security Alliance.

He is the recipient of the National Security Medal, National Intelligence Distinguished Public Service Medal, Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal, FBI Director’s Medallion, National Security Agency Medal, and the Defense Intelligence Agency Director’s Medal. He was inducted into the Irish-American Hall of Fame in 2018.

John Brennan graduated from Fordham University in 1977 with a bachelor’s degree in political science. While enrolled at Fordham, he studied abroad at the American University in Cairo in 1975-1976. He later attended the University of Texas at Austin, earning a master’s degree in government with a concentration in Middle Eastern studies in 1980.