Paul M. Nakasone

Former Commander, U.S. Cyber Command & Former Director of the National Security Agency, Four-Star Army General (Ret.)
Speaker Paul Nakasone
  • Career Army officer who was pivotal in the creation of U.S. Cyber Command, and was the longest-serving leader of USCYBERCOM and the NSA
  • Explores the intersection of geopolitics, tech advancement, and national security, as well as hard-won lessons from his own experiences as a transformational leader
  • Led elite cyber units on the frontlines to defend the U.S. and ensure global security
  • Regarded as innovator who broke down silos, promoted collaboration, and created efficiencies needed for mission success in the Intelligence Community

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A name synonymous with visionary leadership, General Paul M. Nakasone is the longest-serving leader of the U.S. Cyber Command and the National Security Agency/Central Security Service, and is regarded among an elite class of leaders whose strategic expertise at the nexus of cybersecurity, technology, and geopolitics has laid the groundwork for upholding our nation’s security in the modern age. General Nakasone’s career spans more than three decades of pivotal moments in modern warfare and digital defense and he draws upon his experiences constantly at the epicenter of conflict to share battle-tested lessons on transformational leadership, while also examining the challenges and opportunities organizations face in the ever-evolving tech and security landscape.  

Exclusively represented by Leading Authorities speakers bureau, Nakasone is an engaging and dynamic speaker who leads audiences on a fascinating exploration into how our experiences today, paired with the advent of rapid and constant technological change, will shape the future — and what that means for how we approach the safety and security of our systems and society. Pointing to strategies that consistently led him and his teams to mission success in his own career, Nakasone shares recent examples of complex situations in which innovative ideas provided the catalyst for successful outcomes. As part of his talks, Nakasone emphasizes the skills that need to be sharpened in order to make a transformational impact as a leader, as well as the importance of purposefully recruiting, training, and retaining talent. He is of the belief that, ultimately, what shapes our future is fully dependent on the manner in which organizations invest leadership and talent.  

From the crucible of the Pentagon on 9/11 and spearheading the response to the most significant intrusion into the Defense Department’s classified networks, to the Wars in Iraq in Afghanistan, Nakasone has served as one of the most influential problem-solvers at the center of cyber and information operations and dedicated his career to being a steadfast guardian of our national security interests. He was also part of the select group of leaders that conceptualized and built U.S. Cyber Command from the ground up, and subsequently led their most elite forces before rising to command the entire organization, as well as the NSA/Central Security Service. In addition to his standing as a career Army officer who climbed the ranks to lead elite units battling the world’s top cyber hackers, Nakasone is widely recognized as an agent of innovation who championed new approaches to solving multifaceted challenges in rapidly changing landscape of cyber threats. His persistent approach to cyber defense against nation-state hackers has redefined the national and global security playbooks, while his emphasis on partnerships fostered a collaborative ecosystem transcending international, interagency, and private sector agencies. Under his stewardship, transparency became a cornerstone for his teams, elevating the confidence and trust of the American people in the NSA and U.S. Cyber Command. He retired as Commander of U.S. Cyber Command, Director of the NSA, and Chief of the Central Security Service on February 1, 2024 — having served in those roles since May 2018.          

General Nakasone’s remarkable service has been recognized with innumerable awards and decorations. Among them are the Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, and Defense Meritorious Service Medal — to name a few. Described as “a transformational leader who strengthened our national security, bolstered our deterrence, and defended our democracy,” Nakasone remains a vocal advocate for defending the nation and securing the best possible future through people and partnerships.

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Speaker Video

Paul Nakasone: Navigating the Opportunities & Challenges in Cyberspace

Gen. Paul M. Nakasone addresses China's growing influence and adversarial relationship with the U.S.

A Conversation with General Paul M. Nakasone. Framed for the interests of your group, this fireside chat with General Paul M. Nakasone can center on geopolitics and the intersection of technology, cybersecurity, effective leadership for critical times, intelligence and information power, or a combination of the previously mentioned topic areas. As he engages with the audience, General Nakasone offers a unique, candid, and firsthand perspective — having served at the center of national security and technology during both the Trump and Biden administrations. The stories he shares of his experiences navigating complex situations in which the integrity of our national security hung in the balance keep audience members at the edge of their seats, while reinforcing the strategies and lessons he shares.   

Lasting Leadership Lessons from the World’s Second Oldest Profession. For nearly six years, General Paul M. Nakasone led the largest and most technically advanced component of the U.S. Intelligence Community, the National Security Agency. Decorated with the Intelligence Community’s highest award, he is an experienced, transformational leader, who succeeded in recruiting and retaining the best and brightest talent; bringing transparency and greater engagement with the private sector; and in developing broader internal and external partnerships to overcome the nation’s most challenging adversaries. Weaving real life leadership lessons learned during his own career, General Nakasone brings meaning to the hair-raising challenges he faced as a one of the Intelligence Community’s most visible leaders, and to where corporate leaders can leverage this knowledge as they work to align their teams and lead them to success.

Charting the Course of National Security in a Digital World. In this talk, General Paul M. Nakasone, former Director of the National Security Agency and Commander of U.S. Cyber Command reflects upon the challenges and opportunities the U.S. faces in today’s geopolitical environment. Leading the largest component of the U.S. Intelligence Community and the nation’s warfighting force in cyberspace for nearly six years, General Nakasone was at the center of the competition, crisis, and conflict in the cyber domain and draws from his time spent on the frontlines of cyber operations to speak to the intersection of technology and threat actors, as well as describe what he saw and did to secure America’s elections, prevent surprise, and confront cyber threats that threatened the future of our nation.

Disruptive Technologies: Examining the Challenges and Opportunities of AI and Beyond. With the rise of AI marking the most disruptive technology of the new century, former NSA Director General Paul M. Nakasone leads a compelling deep dive into AI and the other coming disruptive technologies — reflecting on their impact in the Russia-Ukraine War, election security, ransomware, and future conflict. During this talk, he highlights how important it is for leaders to understand this coming wave of change, while framing cybersecurity as a team sport and underscoring the necessity to recruit, develop, and retain talent that is up for the task of navigating AI integration in the workplace to position themselves and their companies for the future.

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