The founder of the center is General Michael V. Hayden, a distinguished visiting professor at the Schar School of Policy and Government since 2009.
A retired four-star general, Hayden served as director of the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency when the course of world events was changing at a rapid rate, and was also the country’s first principal deputy director of national intelligence and the highest-ranking military intelligence officer in the country. In all of these jobs, he worked to put a human face on American intelligence, explaining to the American people the role of espionage in protecting both American security and American liberty.
Hayden, a CNN national security analyst and frequent commentator in top publications, is valued for his expertise on intelligence matters, cyber security, government surveillance, geopolitics, and more. He was featured in the HBO documentary Manhunt, which looked at espionage through the eyes of the insiders who led the secret war against Osama bin Laden, and in Showtime’s TheSpymasters, a detailed look at the directors of the Central Intelligence Agency.
In 2013, the Intelligence and National Security Alliance (INSA) awarded Hayden the 29th annual William Oliver Baker Award, recognizing his contribution to national security affairs. General Hayden is also the first recipient of the Helms Award presented by the CIA Officers’ Memorial Foundation in recognition of his extraordinary qualities of leadership in service to the nation and CIA. In 2014 he was the inaugural Humanitas visiting professor in intelligence studies at Oxford University in the United Kingdom. His recent memoir, Playing to the Edge: American Intelligence in the Age of Terror, has been a New York Times bestseller and was recently selected as one of the 100 most notable books of 2016.
Hayden is currently a principal at The Chertoff Group and serves on a variety of boards and consultancies.