Ellen E. McCarthy currently serves as the Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research. Prior to her return to government service, she served as the President of Noblis NSP overseeing the organization and leading its mission to serve clients in the Intelligence Community. Before joining Noblis, she served as Chief Operating Officer of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. As a member of NGA’s command leadership team, she led the daily business activities of the agency and provided oversight for the execution and development of strategic direction, policy, guidance, and planning. She also guided the development and management of future capabilities and technologies supporting GEOINT requirements and provided oversight to NGA Portfolio Managers to ensure agency-wide integration in support of strategic goals. She also advised the Director, NGA on a wide variety of issues related to strategic planning, programming and budgeting, corporate governance, and partner engagement.
Before joining NGA, Ms. McCarthy served as the President of the Intelligence and National Security Alliance (INSA). As President, she led INSA in a number of initiatives that supported government policy and program development relating to cyber security, counter intelligence, acquisition, and homeland security intelligence.
Prior to joining INSA in 2008, Ms. McCarthy was Director of the Human Capital Management Office (HCMO) and the Acting Director of Security within the Officer of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence (OUSD(I)). As Director of HCMO she was responsible for the development of policy, plans, programs, and oversight of personnel, training, education, and career development of civilian and military defense intelligence personnel with the Department of Defense. Amongst her significant accomplishments, she developed and deployed the Defense Civilian Intelligence Personnel System (DCIPS). She joint OUSD(I) in July 2004 where her primary focus was on the development of policy and strategy relating to intelligence reform which included resource management, acquisitions, collection authorities, and personnel.
Before joining the staff at the OUSD(I), Ms. McCarthy was the Director of Intelligence Operations, Strategy, and Policy for the United States Coast Guard (USCG). In this capacity she played a critical role in moving the USCG intelligence program into the IC, establishing Maritime Intelligence Fusion Centers, expanding USCG attaché presence worldwide, and establishing new intelligence and law enforcement collection capabilities.
She has worked extensively with the Navy at the strategic, operational, and tactical levels having served as a Soviet submarine analyst at the Office of Naval Intelligence and at Atlantic Fleet where she supported the Navy’s undersea warfare community. Additionally, Ms. McCarthy provided direct support to joint forces as the Deputy Chief of Joint Analysis and Warfighter Support at the U.S. Atlantic Command focusing on counter drug and counter terrorism operations. Before her employment in the IC, she served as a technical research analyst at the Institute for Defense Analysis supporting the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization.
Ms. McCarthy is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy form the University of Maryland. She is married to Gordon Hannah. They have two children, Liam and Eileen.