Marian Miner Cook
Athenaeum

A distinctive
feature of social and
cultural life at CMC

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Wednesday, February 05, 2020 - Evening Program
Honor and Integrity: A Life in Public Service
John Brennan

John O. Brennan, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, will offer reflections on his more than 33 years of public service working for six U.S. Presidents. He will talk about the challenges, opportunities, and ethical dilemmas he encountered while dealing with complex national security issues involving terrorism, covert action, counterintelligence, relationships with foreign intelligence services, and cybersecurity.  

*NOTE* This is a special “Ath on the Road” Res Publica event and will be held off campus in Orange County. Roundtrip transportation will be provided. Buses with wifi will begin boarding at 3:30 pm and will depart campus at approximately 4 pm; return to campus is expected by 9 pm. 

A leading expert in national security, intelligence, and counter-terrorism, John O. Brennan served as director of the Central Intelligence Agency (“CIA”) from March 2013 to January 2017. As director, he was responsible for intelligence collection, analysis, covert action, counterintelligence, and liaison relationships with foreign intelligence services.

Brennan began his 25-year tenure at the CIA in 1980. Fluent in Arabic, Brennan specialized in Middle Eastern affairs and counterterrorism. Over the years, he served in multiple capacities, including as the agency’s intelligence briefer to President Clinton, CIA station chief in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, chief of staff to then-director George Tenet, and deputy executive director. In 2003, he led a multi-agency effort to establish what would become the National Counterterrorism Center and served as its founding director. After retiring from the CIA in 2005, Brennan worked in the private sector for three years.

Brennan returned to public service in 2009 and served as assistant to the president for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism. In this capacity, he advised President Obama on counterterrorism strategy and helped coordinate the U.S. government’s approach to homeland security, counterterrorism, cyberattacks, natural disasters, and pandemics.

Brennan graduated from Fordham University in 1977 with a bachelor’s degree in political science. In his junior year, he studied abroad at the American University in Cairo concentrating on Arabic language studies. He subsequently attended the University of Texas at Austin where he received a master’s degree in government with a concentration in Middle Eastern studies in 1980.

Brennan currently is 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 intelligence and national security analyst for NBC and MSNBC, and a consultant/advisor to a variety of private sector companies.

Mr. Brennan will deliver the Spring 2020 Lecture for the Res Publica Society Speaker Series.

*NOTE* This is a special “Ath on the Road” Res Publica event and will be held off campus in Orange County. Roundtrip transportation will be provided. Buses with wifi will begin boarding at 3:30 pm and will depart campus at approximately 4 pm; return to campus is expected by 9 pm. 


Food for Thought: Podcast with John Brennan