Mike McConnell is a retired Vice Admiral, USN and former Vice Chairman of Booz Allen Hamilton where he served on the firm’s Leadership Team and led the firm’s intelligence and cyber security business. After retiring from the US Navy in 1996, Mr. McConnell joined Booz Allen, to lead development of the firm’s Information Assurance and Intelligence business focused on policy, operations, transformation, homeland security, intelligence analytics and counter-terrorism.
Upon being asked by President George W. Bush in 2007 to become the second US Director of National Intelligence (DNI), he left Booz Allen and served as the DNI, a position of cabinet rank, and a member of the White House National Security Council for two years under Presidents Bush and Obama. As the DNI he managed the expansive national Intelligence Community – an organization of over 100,000 people, and an annual budget of over $50B. During this time, he had extensive interactions with the White House, the President’s Cabinet, Congress, international leaders, and the US business community. In 2009, Mr. McConnell returned to Booz Allen as an executive vice president to lead the firm’s Intelligence business. In 2011 he was elevated to the position of Vice Chairman of the firm.
Mr. McConnell’s career has spanned over 50 years focused on international and foreign intelligence issues. His 29-year career as a US Navy intelligence officer included significant assignments that impacted national security. During Operation Desert Storm and the dissolution of the Soviet Union in the early 1990’s, Mr. McConnell served as the Intelligence Officer for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Colin Powell, and the Secretary of Defense, Dick Cheney. From 1992 to 1996 he served as the Director of the National Security Agency (DIRNSA) under Presidents George H.W. Bush and William J. Clinton. As DIRNSA, he led the agency during a critical period as it adapted to the multi-polar threats brought about by the end of the Cold War, providing global intelligence and information security services to the White House, Cabinet officials, Congress, and a broad array of military and civil intelligence agencies.
Mr. McConnell interest since his service as Director of NSA in 1992-96, has been to improve the cyber security posture of businesses and government agencies around the globe to better protect them from hackers, criminals, terrorists and nation states focused on economic espionage or destruction of vital data. He was successful during his time serving as the DNI to get two U.S. Presidents and the U.S. Congress to invest substantially, at the multi-Billion Dollar level, to improve cyber security standards for the US.
Since his retirement from Booz Allen in 2014, Mr. McConnell has served on the Board of Directors or Advisors to a number of start-up companies to develop new technology and capabilities for improved cybersecurity posture. He serves as the Chairman of the Board of Advisors to Florida’s state-wide Academic Cyber Security Center of Excellence based at the University of South Florida in Tampa and he currently serves on the US based Board of Directors of Nokia for US based business operations.
In addition to having been awarded many of the nation’s highest military awards for meritorious service, Mr. McConnell has twice received the nation’s highest award for service in the US Intelligence Community, once from President Clinton and once from President George W. Bush. He has also served as the Chairman and CEO of the Intelligence and National Security Alliance (INSA). He is the 2011 recipient of INSA’s William Oliver Baker Award, which is awarded annually for sustained and excellent service in intelligence and national security.
Mr. McConnell holds an M.P.A. degree from George Washington University, is a graduate of the National Defense University (Global Telecom), the National Defense Intelligence College (Strategic Intelligence), and holds a B.A. degree in Economics from Furman University. In addition to being a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Mr. McConnell has also been awarded three Honorary Doctorate degrees – the most recent from George Washington University in 2008.