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Name: McConnell, John (Mike)
Current Position: Previous Director
A native of Greenville, South Carolina, John Michael McConnell served as the second director of national intelligence beginning on February 13, 2007. He holds a holds a bachelor’s in economics from Furman University in Greenville and a master’s in public administration from George Washington University. He is also a graduate of the National Defense University (Global Telecom) and the National Defense Intelligence College (Strategic Intelligence).
McConnell served 29 years in the US Navy, 26 as a career intelligence officer, before retiring as a vice admiral. This included serving as an intelligence officer (J2) for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Secretary of Defense.
From 1992 to 1996, McConnell served as director of the National Security Agency (NSA). Under his leadership, NSA routinely provided global intelligence and information security services to the White House, cabinet officials and the Congress in addition to a broad array of military and civil intelligence customers. He also served as a member of the director of central intelligence senior leadership team.
McConnell also worked in the private sector, as chairman and CEO of the Intelligence and National Security Alliance and as a senior vice president with the consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton, focusing on intelligence and national security areas.
Only months after taking over DNI, McConnell asserted that the Protect America Act, a temporary measure that granted broader surveillance powers to American intelligence agencies, had helped US authorities foil a major terror plot in Germany involving three suspects planning massive car bombings against American targets. Other US intelligence-community officials questioned the accuracy of McConnell’s testimony and urged his office to correct it.
Four intelligence-community officials said privately that the Protect America Act played little if any role in the unraveling of the German plot. The US military initially provided information that helped the Germans uncover the plot but that took place months before Protect America was passed.
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