Michael Morell is Senior Counselor to Beacon Global Strategies LLC.
Mr. Morell is one of the country’s most renowned national security professionals, most recently serving as Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, and twice as its Acting Director.
In his over thirty years at the Agency, he played a central role in the United States’ fight against terrorism, its initiatives to halt 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.
As Deputy Director from May 2010 until August 2013, he oversaw the Agency’s analytic and collection operations, represented the Agency at the White House and on Capitol Hill, and maintained the CIA’s relationships with intelligence services and foreign leaders. He was one of the leaders in the search for Osama bin Laden and participated in the deliberations that led to the raid that killed bin Laden in May 2011.
Mr. Morell served as Acting Director longer than anyone in the history of the CIA, most recently for four months before the appointment of current CIA Director John Brennan in March 2013. He served as a member of the National Security Council’s Deputies Committee.
Mr. Morell started his career at the CIA in 1980. He worked on East Asia for 14 years, holding a number of jobs in analysis and management. In 1999, Mr. Morell became the Director of the Office of Asian Pacific and Latin American Analysis. He also served as President George W. Bush’s intelligence briefer and as the Executive Assistant to CIA Director George J. Tenet.
In July 2006, Mr. Morell was named the Executive Director of the CIA, overseeing the administration of the Agency. In this role, he worked to strengthen the CIA’s leadership development program and established a cost-savings program for the Agency’s numerous support elements. In 2008, Mr. Morell became the Director for Intelligence at the Agency, leading the CIA’s large analytic effort. In this assignment, he strengthened the quality of CIA analysis and enhanced professional development opportunities for analysts. He served in this role until he was appointed Deputy Director in May 2010.
Mr. Morell received a B.A. in Economics from the University of Akron and a M.A. in Economics from Georgetown University. He serves today as a Senior Fellow at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.
Throughout his career, Mr. Morell has received a number of awards. These include the Presidential Rank Award, the CIA’s Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal, the Department of Defense Service Medal, the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal, the National Intelligence Reform Medal, the Intelligence Community Seal Medallion, and four CIA Director’s Awards.
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