The Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs will host a Director's Lunch with Michael Morell, former Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency and Belfer Senior Fellow, in the Belfer Center Library (L369).

In a recent “60 Minutes” interview, Morell commented on the state of Syria and the threat of al-Qaeda:

“Because of concern about the potential for the area to become a hotbed of radical Islam, Morell said the best resolution would be a negotiated settlement to the civil war raging there. 'It’s gonna take the institution of the Syrian military and the institutions of the Syrian security services to defeat al-Qaeda when this is done. And every day that goes by, those institutions are eroded.'” Politico.

Michael Morell, the recently retired Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, is one of the country's most prominent national security professionals, with extensive experience in intelligence and foreign policy. He has been at the center of our nation’s fight against terrorism, its work to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and its efforts to respond to trends that are altering the international landscape—including the Arab Spring, the rise of China, and the cyber threat. He recently was appointed a Belfer Senior Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School.

During his 33-year career at CIA, Morell served as Deputy Director for over three years, a job in which he managed the Agency’s day-to-day operations, represented the Agency at the White House and Congress, and maintained the Agency’s relationships with intelligence services and foreign leaders around the world. Morell also served twice as Acting Director, leading CIA when Leon Panetta was named Secretary of Defense, and again after David Petraeus left government.

Morell's senior assignments at CIA also included serving for two years as the Director of Intelligence, the Agency’s Chief Analyst, and for two years as Executive Director, the CIA’s top administrator—managing human resources, the budget, security, and information technology for an agency the size of a Fortune 200 firm.

Morell has been a witness to history on multiple occasions. He is the only person who was both with President Bush on September 11th, when al-Qaeda burst into the American consciousness, and with President Obama on May 1st, when Bin Laden was brought to justice. Morell played a major role in the Bin Laden operation.

Morell is the recipient of many awards. He received a Presidential Rank Award for exceptional performance. He also received the Distinguished Intelligence Medal, CIA’s highest honor, for his role in the Bin Ladin operation. Morell is also the recipient of the Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal, the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal, and the Department of Defense Service Medal.

Morell is a native of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, and he maintains close ties to northeast Ohio. His father and mother—who taught him hard work, the pursuit of excellence, and humility—were an autoworker and a homemaker. Morell is a first-generation college student, earning a B.A. summa cum laude in economics from the University of Akron. He also earned an M.A. in economics from Georgetown University.

As space is limited for this event, RSVPs will be accepted on a first come, first served basis. Belfer Center Lunches are strictly off-the-record. By requesting to attend the Lunch, you agree that you will comply with the Belfer Center's strict policy against recording or disclosing the contents of the seminar. Your access is conditioned on your compliance with these restrictions. Should you violate these rules, the Center will pursue all available legal options and you will be excluded from all future events.