Michael Hayden

Former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency and Former Director of the National Security Agency

  • Formerly the highest-ranking military intelligence officer in the country
  • Retired four-star General and New York Times best-selling author
  • Provides the ultimate insider’s glimpse into the forces shaping the world

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General Michael Hayden is a retired four-star general who served as director of both the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the National Security Agency (NSA) when the course of world events was changing at a rapid rate. As head of the country’s premier intelligence agencies, he was on the front lines of global change, the war on terrorism, and the growing cyber challenge. He understands the dangers, risks, and potential rewards of the political, economic, and security situations facing us. Exclusively represented by Leading Authorities speakers bureau, General Hayden dissects hot spots around the world, analyzing the tumultuous global environment, the impact of the recent US election and what it all means for Americans and America’s interests. He speaks on the delicate balance between liberty and security in intelligence work, as well the potential benefits and dangers associated with the cyber domain. As the former head of two multi-billion dollar enterprises, he can also address the challenges of managing complex organizations in times of stress and risk, and the need to develop effective internal and external communications.

Strategic Command. In addition to leading CIA and NSA, General Hayden was 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 also served as commander of the Air Intelligence Agency and Director of the Joint Command and Control Warfare Center and served in senior staff positions at the Pentagon, at U.S. European Command, at the National Security Council, and the U.S. Embassy in Bulgaria. He was also the deputy chief of staff for the United Nations Command and U.S. Forces in South Korea.

Views Highly-Sought After. Michael Hayden is the author of the 2018 best-selling book, The Assault on Intelligence: American National Security in an Age of Lies. He has been a frequent expert and commentator on major news outlets and in top publications, valued for his expertise on intelligence matters like 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 The Spymasters, a detailed look at the directors of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Still Involved. Hayden is currently a principal at the Chertoff Group and a distinguished visiting professor at the George Mason University Schar School of Policy and Government. He is on the board of directors of Motorola Solutions and serves on a variety of other boards and consultancies. In 2013, the Intelligence and National Security Alliance (INSA) awarded Hayden the 29th annual William Oliver Baker Award.  General Hayden is also the first recipient of the Helms Award presented by the CIA Officers’ Memorial Foundation.  In 2014, he was the inaugural Humanitas visiting professor in intelligence studies at Oxford University in the United Kingdom. His 2016 memoir, Playing to the Edge: American Intelligence in the Age of Terror, was a New York Times best-seller and was selected as one of the 100 most notable books of 2016.

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Hot Spots At Home & Around The World. In this dangerous and unpredictable world, the geopolitical situation is constantly changing. As a career soldier and the nation’s top military intelligence officer, General Hayden understands the politics and key players who drive policy internationally and at home. He delivers a compelling presentation about the state of the world today. Which nations are on the rise and which are in decline? Which areas are trouble spots for America and American interests? With humor and insight, General Hayden breaks down the state of the planet, giving audiences the ultimate insider’s glimpse into the forces shaping the world.

Leading during a Crisis. With his vast intelligence experience from his time in the CIA, the NSA, the military, and the Pentagon, Michael Hayden benefits from nearly a lifetime’s worth of crisis management and leadership experience. The former head of two multi-billion dollar enterprises, he understands the challenges of managing complex organizations in times of stress and risk, and the need to develop effective internal and external communications. In this special presentation, he addresses leading complex and sensitive organizations and how managers and leaders of all backgrounds can apply the lessons he learned over the years to their own organizations. This includes discussing how to recognize when to shake things up and innovate (in terms of structure and personnel) at an organization, when to focus on stabilization, the unique challenges associated with leading during a crisis, developing the effective qualities of a leader, and how to gauge leadership styles to the situation and the organization.

Cyber Security & The Threat Of A Cyber Attack. General Michael Hayden is a leading expert regarding our nation’s cyber security. He was on the frontline of geopolitical strife and the war on terror when communication methods were being revolutionized, and he recognized that the world of information was changing rapidly. Hayden understands our nation’s need to adapt to our ever-changing informational landscape and the dangers, risks, and potential rewards of our digital security situation. For these reasons, he is often turned-to by media outlets for his expertise. Having served as the number one military intelligence officer in the country, he discusses geopolitics, cyber security, our vulnerabilities and challenges, the threat of a real attack, and its potential ramifications.

Crisis Management in Complex Organizations. Perhaps no one has more experience managing in crisis situations at the highest level than Michael Hayden. As a director and day-to-day manager of the CIA, he ran the agency at one of the most momentous times in its history. As the deputy director of National Intelligence, he was the highest ranking military intelligence officer, directing the entire intelligence community at a time when various organizations in the community were realigned to work together. His speeches call on his years of experience, his personal stories, and the management qualities that allowed him to become the longest-tenured director of the NSA.

Autonomy & Unity: Striking The Right Strategic Balance. Every organization thrives on individual innovation, but its overall direction can rise or fall based on the unity of common purpose. These two seemingly opposite values can create strife in a complex organization or they can be properly aligned to maximize talent, efficiency, and overall performance. Individual people and departments need to be both who they are, but also be able to become key parts in a greater context of the organization. Hayden imparts key lessons from his experience integrating and optimizing the US intelligence community in a time of tremendous national challenges.

Communication In A Complex World. Inter-organizational communication is key when businesses and associations face increased scrutiny in the public arena. Hayden’s experience opening up the traditionally unseen National Security Council and giving it a more human face created a newfound understanding and goodwill toward the organization. He shares personal stories and imparts the wisdom from key historical events to illustrate the real-world changes he made in the perception of the NSA and the CIA.

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