Press Release - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper Joins Belfer Center

| Mar. 01, 2017

Cambridge, MA – James Clapper, a decorated veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces and America’s fourth Director of National Intelligence (DNI), is joining Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs as a non-resident senior fellow. Director Clapper is writing a book on the history of U.S. intelligence over the length of his five decades in the profession, focusing on his six and half years as DNI.

“Jim Clapper is one of the most distinguished intelligence officers in American history,” said Belfer Center Director Graham Allison. “He has deep experience in leveraging science and technology to optimize intelligence gathering and safeguard our homeland. Together with Michael Morell, Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, David Petraeus, and John Deutch, Jim makes the Center an indispensable contributor to the debate that is just emerging about the American intelligence community’s capabilities, roles, and responsibilities.”

“I am very pleased to join the Belfer Center, which has a demonstrated reputation for academic excellence and thought leadership in the national security community,” said Clapper. “I look forward to engaging with senior fellows, students, and faculty.”

Clapper was Director of National Intelligence (DNI) from 2010 to 2017, serving as the principal intelligence advisor to President Obama. Previously, he served for three years as Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, the principal official responsible for intelligence, counterintelligence, and security matters at the Pentagon. He was simultaneously Director of Defense Intelligence for DNI.

Clapper retired in 1995 after 32 distinguished years in the U.S. Armed Forces. His career began as a rifleman in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve and culminated as a lieutenant general in the U.S. Air Force. He served two combat tours (in the Southeast Asia conflict) and flew 73 combat support missions in EC-47s over Laos and Cambodia during his second tour.  Following his retirement, Clapper worked in the private sector for six years as an executive in three companies focused on services for the intelligence community.

He was a member of the Downing Assessment Task Force that investigated the Khobar Towers bombing in 1996, and was vice chairman of a commission chaired by former Gov. Jim Gilmore of Virginia on the subject of homeland security. His awards include three National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medals, three DoD Distinguished Public Service Awards, two Defense Distinguished Service Medals, the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, the Coast Guard’s Distinguished Public Service Award, and a host of other U.S. military and foreign government awards and decorations. He was named as one of the Top 100 Information Technology Executives by Federal Computer Week in 2001, was singled out by the NAACP in the form of its National Distinguished Service Award, and received the Presidentially-conferred National Security Medal.

Clapper earned a bachelor’s degree in government and politics from the University of Maryland, a master’s degree in political science from St. Mary’s University, and an honorary doctorate in strategic intelligence from the then Joint Military Intelligence College.

Clapper lives in Fairfax, Virginia along with his wife of over 50 years, Sue, and their dog Zeno.

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation:Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper Joins Belfer Center.” Press Release, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, March 1, 2017.