McConnell, John Michael
McConnell, John Michael
John Michael "Mike" McConnell was sworn in as Director of Nation Intelligence on February 13, 2007. McConnell was born on July 26, 1943, in Greenville, South Carolina. He earned a bachelor's degree from Furman University in 1966, majoring in Economics. McConnell later earned advanced degrees from George Washington University (MPA, 1986) and Defense Intelligence College (PhD, 1992). McConnell joined the U.S. Navy, where he advanced to numerous positions, culminating in his becoming a vice admiral.
McConnell moved to the Pentagon in 1990, serving as the intelligence director for Joint Chiefs of Staff until 1992. Following that post, he became the director of the National Security Agency, serving in that position from 1992–96. He then left government service to take a position with the consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton, specializing in the areas of national security and intelligence work. He also served as chairman of the Intelligence and National Security Alliance, an independent lobbying group.
That firm was at the heart of a controversial program to mine data from U.S. citizens for anti-terrorism purposes called "Total Information Awareness." McConnell was a key player in getting the program running, a program decried by many as a serious threat to personal privacy. The cancellation of the program came after Democratic congressmen questioned the privacy issues it ignited.
John Michael McConnell
- Earned BA from Furman University
- Intelligence Director of Joint Chiefs of Staff
- Director of NSA
- Joined Booz Allen Hamilton consulting firm
- Confirmed as National Director of Intelligence
When President George W. Bush nominated McConnell to succeed John Negroponte as Director of National Intelligence, many pointed to this affair as a reason to regard him as a questionable selection. Despite these questions, McConnell was confirmed as Director on February 13, 2007. Afterwards, in a article printed in the July/August 2007 edition of Foreign Affairs, he wrote of U.S. intelligence:
Although the United States is improving the nuts and bolts of its intelligence system, it must not lose sight of the strategic conditions that will determine the ultimate success of those efforts. The United States must comprehend the profound threats of the times and position its institutions to meet those challenges. The intelligence community understands the threats posed by terrorists inside and outside the United States, nuclear proliferators, and rogue and failed states. Now, it must set its priorities to meet these threats.