Michael Leiter – Former Director of the National Counterterrorism Center

Michael Leiter - Former Director of the National Counterterrorism Center

Nov 13, 2015
7:30 AM - 9:45 AM

Carmel Country Club
4735 Carmel Rd
Charlotte, NC 28226


Michael E. Leiter currently serves as the Senior Counselor to the Chief Executive Officer of Palantir Technologies, where he is responsible for coordinating internal operations, external business strategy, and business development.  In this role he works closely with numerous Fortune 100 companies, senior U.S. Government officials, and foreign officials in Europe, Asia, and Australasia.  In addition, Leiter serves as a National Security and Counterterrorism Analyst for NBC News.

Prior to entering the private sector Leiter served as the Director of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) until July 2011.  He was sworn in as NCTC’s second-ever Director on June 12, 2008, upon his unanimous confirmation by the U.S. Senate and after serving as the Acting Director since November 2007. He was initially nominated to serve as Director by President George W. Bush in March 2008, and was one of the few national security officials asked to continue as Director by President Barack Obama.

As the Director of NCTC, Leiter led the primary organization in the U.S. government for analysis and integration of all terrorism intelligence—both domestically and overseas.  In addition, Leiter reported directly to the President in conducting strategic operational planning for U.S. Government-wide counterterrorism activities, to include the integration of U.S. military, intelligence, diplomatic, financial, cyber, and homeland security counterterrorism efforts.  As NCTC’s Director, Leiter led more than 1,000 personnel and managed an annual budget of more than $400 million; in addition, he advised the Office of Management and Budget on the allocation of more than $100 billion annually for government-wide counterterrorism activities.

Before joining NCTC, Mr. Leiter served as the Deputy Chief of Staff for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI).  In this role Mr. Leiter led the establishment of the ODNI and coordinated all internal and external operations for the ODNI, to include relationships with the White House, the Departments of Defense, State, Justice, and Homeland Security, the CIA, and the Congress.

Prior to his service with the ODNI, Mr. Leiter served as the Deputy General Counsel and Assistant Director of the President’s Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction (the “Robb-Silberman Commission”).  From 2002 until 2005 he served with the Department of Justice as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, where he prosecuted a variety of crimes, including narcotics offenses, organized crime and racketeering, capital murder, and money laundering.

Immediately prior to his Justice Department service, Mr. Leiter served as a law clerk to Associate Justice Stephen G. Breyer of the Supreme Court of the United States and to Chief Judge Michael Boudin of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.  From 1991 until 1997 he served as a Naval Flight Officer flying EA-6B Prowlers in the U.S. Navy, participating in U.S., NATO, and UN operations in the former Yugoslavia and Iraq.  Mr. Leiter also served as a Harvard Law School human rights fellow with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague.

Mr. Leiter received his J.D. from Harvard where he graduated magna cum laude and was President of the Harvard Law Review, and his B.A. from Columbia.  He is a member of the RAND Corporation Board of Trustees, the National Security Agency’s Advisory Board (Cyber Awareness and Response), the NCTC Director’s Advisory Board, the Bipartisan Policy Center Homeland Security Project, the Aspen Institute’s Homeland Security Advisory Group, and the Council on Foreign Relations.  He is the recipient of numerous awards to include the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal, the Secretary of Defense Outstanding Public Service Medal, the CIA Seal, and the Air Medal (Strike Flight, Three Awards).