Michael Hayden

It is the security practitioners, those rarely in the headlines but whose craft and energy quietly break new ground, who keep us safe or put us in peril.

General Michael Hayden is a retired four-star general who served as director of the CIA and principal deputy director of National Intelligence at a time when the course of world events was changing at an accelerating rate. As the director of the country’s keystone intelligence-gathering agency, he was on the frontline of geopolitical strife and the war on terrorism. He understands the dangers, risks, and potential rewards of the political, economic, and security situations facing the planet.

General Hayden became director of the CIA in May of 2006, capping a career in service that included nearly 40 years in the U.S. Air Force. He served until 2009. Earlier, after being appointed by President Bill Clinton, Hayden served as the director of the National Security Agency (NSA) and chief of the Central Security Service (CSS) from 1999–2005. During his tenure as director he worked to put a human face on the famously secretive agency. Sensing that the world of information was changing rapidly, General Hayden directed an effort to explain to the American people the role of the NSA and to also make it more visible on the national scene.

From 2005–2006, General Hayden served as the principal deputy director of national intelligence, the highest-ranking military intelligence officer in the country. In this capacity, he oversaw the entire intelligence community, including the CIA, NSA, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and the National Reconnaissance Office.

General Hayden entered active duty in the U.S.A.F. in 1969 after earning a bachelor of arts in history and a master of arts in modern American history, both from Duquesne University. In his military career, General Hayden served as commander of the Air Intelligence Agency and director of the Joint Command and Control Warfare Center. He has also served in senior staff positions at the Pentagon, at the headquarters of the U.S. European Command, at the National Security Council, and the U.S. Embassy in Bulgaria. The general has also served as deputy chief of staff for the United Nations Command and U.S. Forces in South Korea.

He is currently a principal at the Chertoff Group, a security consultancy co-founded by former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. Hayden also serves as a distinguished visiting professor at the George Mason University School of Public Policy.