General Michael V. Hayden: On CIA, NSA, and Security in the Digital Age

On July 12, General Michael V. Hayden (USAF, Ret.), former Director of the NSA and the CIA, met with alumni of the Congressional Partnership Program for an off-the-record dinner, where he discussed data security, cyber security, and privacy in relation to today’s foreign policy and national security issues.

Cyber attacks have become commonplace in the United States. The attack on Sony in 2014 marked a shift in cyber threats from pure espionage to industry destruction; the OPM breach in 2015  highlighted the flaws in the government’s security systems; and the FBI-Apple controversy brought the privacy-security debate back into the spotlight. As the former Director of both the CIA and NSA, General Hayden is uniquely qualified to speak about the ongoing and expanding cyber threats the U.S. faces today. General Hayden discussed the importance of cybersecurity within foreign policy as well as provide recommendations for how to best approach the increased prevalence of cyber threats.


This was a closed event for alumni of the Congressional Partnership Program.


General Michael Hayden

General Michael Hayden

General Hayden (USAF, Ret.) was the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 2006-2009, where he was responsible for overseeing the collection of information concerning the plans, intentions and capabilities of America’s adversaries; producing timely analysis for decision makers; and conducting covert operations to thwart terrorists and other enemies of the US.

Before becoming Director of the CIA, General Hayden served as the country’s first Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence and was the highest-ranking intelligence officer in the armed forces. Earlier, he served as Commander of the Air Intelligence Agency, Director of the Joint Command and Control Warfare Center, Director of the National Security Agency and Chief of the Central Security Service.

General Hayden graduated from Duquesne University with a bachelor’s degree in history in 1967 and a master’s degree in modern American history in 1969.  He also did postgraduate work at the Defense Intelligence School conducted by the Defense Intelligence Agency.  He is currently a Distinguished Visiting Professor at George Mason University.