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Name: Burgess, Ronald
Current Position: Previous Director

A 35-year veteran specializing in military intelligence, U.S. Army Lieutenant General Ronald L. Burgess, Jr. has served as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency since March 2009. He also serves as commander of the Joint Functional Component Command for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (JFCC-ISR). Burgess was Director of Intelligence for the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the time that U.S. troops were abusing and torturing prisoners at Guantánamo Bay and in Iraq.

 
A native of Alabama, Burgess was commissioned in military intelligence through the Auburn University ROTC Program in 1974. He earned a Master of Science degree in education from the University of Southern California in 1980, and a Master of Military Arts and Science from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in 1986.
 
His military education includes the Armor Officer Basic Course, the Military Intelligence Officers Advanced Course, the Command and General Staff College, the Advanced Military Studies Program, and the Air War College.
 
Burgess has held a variety of key staff and command positions, beginning with assistant executive officer to the deputy chief of staff for intelligence, Washington, DC (1990).
 
From April 1991 to May 1993, he was company commander of the 124th Military Intelligence Battalion, 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized) at Fort Stewart, Georgia, and then commander of the 125th Military Intelligence Battalion, 25th Infantry Division (Light), Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. From May 1993 to May 1994, he was G-2 for the 25th Infantry Division.
 
Burgess commanded the 470th Military Intelligence Brigade in Panama from June 1995 to May 1997.
 
From May 1997 to June 1999, he served as director of intelligence, J-2, Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. This was followed by director of intelligence, J-2, U.S. Southern Command from June 1999 to May 2003, and director for intelligence, J-2, The Joint Staff from June 2003 to July 2005.
 
On May 11, 2004, the normally low-profile Burgess was part of a military panel that appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee to testify about the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. troops at Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad. Burgess kept his testimony to a minimum. At one point he commented, “In my short 30 years in the military, I'm not surprised much anymore what one person will do to another person.” He also argued that the release of the Abu Ghraib photographs, which shocked Americans and people around the world, had caused “an up-tick…in some of the threat reportings.”
 
Burgess assumed duty as the deputy director of national intelligence for customer outcomes in August 2005 before transitioning to director of the intelligence staff in February 2007. He was twice asked to take charge as acting principal deputy director of national intelligence from May 2006 to October 2007, and January to February 2009, until a full-time director could be appointed.
 
Burgess and his wife Marta, who were married in 1975, have five children: Lee, Regina, Julia, Mary, and John.
 
Official Biography (Defense Intelligence Agency)
 
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