FedScoop guide: John Brennan

2013_01_johnbrennan John Brennan (Photo: White House/Pete Souza)

President Obama nominated John Brennan, his deputy national security advisor, to be the next director of the Central Intelligence Agency on Monday. Brennan will go through the Senate confirmation process before taking office.

FedScoop created a quick guide about his career.



Name: John Owen Brennan

Age: 57


  • B.A. in political science from Fordham University (1977)
  • M.A. in government with a concentration in Middle Eastern studies from the University of Texas (1980)

Family: Wife, Kathy, and three children.

Notable: Speaks Arabic fluently

Career Highlights

  • Served as President Obama’s deputy national Security advisor for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism since 2008.
  • In April 2012, was the first Obama administration official to publicly acknowledge CIA drone attacks in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, Afghanistan and elsewhere. In his speech, he argued for the legality, morality, and effectiveness of the program.
  • Previously advised Obama on foreign policy and intelligence issues during the 2008 presidential campaign and transition.
  • Spent 25 years working at the CIA and was considered to become the director in 2008 when Leon Panetta left the agency to become Secretary of Defense, but withdrew his name over concerns about his support for the use of torture by the CIA.
  • In 2005, became CEO of The Analysis Corporation, a security consulting business, and served as chairman of the Intelligence and National Security Alliance, an association of intelligence professionals.
  • Was director of the newly created Terrorist Threat Integration Center from 2003 to 2004.
  • His last post within the Intelligence Community was as director of the National Counterterrorism Center in 2004 and 2005, which incorporated information on terrorist activities across U.S. agencies.


“If confirmed as director, I will make it my mission to ensure that the CIA has the tools it needs to keep our nation safe, and that its work always reflects the liberties, the freedoms and the values that we hold so dear.”

– John Brennan on Jan. 7, 2013, in the press conference announcing his nomination



Brennan spoke with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos this past spring, nearly one year after the killing of Osama bin Laden.

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