National Security Institute Advisory Board Member Ellen McCarthy Confirmed as Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research

January 4, 2019
Contact: Jessica Jones

National Security Institute Advisory Board Member Ellen McCarthy Confirmed as Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research

Arlington, VA – On January 2, 2019, NSI Advisory Board member Ellen McCarthy was confirmed to serve as Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research (INR).  Ms. McCarthy has served as President of Noblis NSP since 2016 and also previously served as Chief Operating Officer of the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA), where she oversaw NGA’s daily business activities and advised the Director of NGA on a range of issues, including strategic planning and corporate governance.  Before joining NGA, Ms. McCarthy served as President of the Intelligence and National Security Alliance (INSA), where she currently serves on the Board of Directors.  Ms. McCarthy also previously served as Director of the Human Capital Management Office and the Acting Director of Security within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, where she developed and deployed the Defense Civilian Intelligence Personnel System (DCIPS), as well as in multiple intelligence roles in the United States Navy (USN) and U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), including as Director of Intelligence Operations, Strategy and Policy for the USCG.

“Ellen McCarthy is a fearless, independent leader who will be a tremendous asset to the State Department and the Intelligence Community writ large,” said Jamil N. Jaffer, Founder of GMU’s National Security Institute.  “Ellen arrives at the State Department at a time when the Intelligence Community is under fire from all sides, and when our enemies have seen unprecedented success in conducting covert and overt intelligence operations against our nation and its population.  Ellen brings the right mix of experience, deep knowledge about the threats we face, and a willingness to be candid and direct when needed, alongside a get-it-done attitude that can help the Secretary and the Director of National Intelligence turn the tide back in our direction,” said Jaffer, who also previously served as Chief Counsel and Senior Advisor to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

INR is a bureau of the Department of State and a member of the Intelligence Community, whose primary mission is to harness intelligence to serve U.S. diplomacy.  INR is a direct descendant of the Office of Strategic Services Research Department and is the oldest civilian intelligence element in the U.S. Government.  INR provides independent analysis of events to State Department policymakers and ensures that intelligence activities support foreign policy and national security purposes.

Ms. McCarthy’s bio can be found here.  More information on INR can be found here.

About the National Security Institute
The National Security Institute serves as a platform for research, teaching, scholarship, and policy development that incorporates a realistic assessment of the threats facing the United States and its allies, as well as an appreciation of the legal and practical challenges facing U.S. intelligence, defense, law enforcement, homeland security, and cybersecurity communities.  NSI draws on the experience of its visiting fellows, as well as its highly distinguished advisory board and faculty, to produce timely research and policy materials that deliver insightful analysis and actionable recommendations to senior policymakers in the White House and key departments and agencies, as well as those on Capitol Hill.

About George Mason
George Mason University is Virginia’s largest public research university. Located near Washington, D.C., Mason enrolls more than 33,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states.  Mason has grown rapidly over the past half-century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity, and commitment to accessibility.

About the Scalia Law School
The Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University is defined by three words: Learn. Challenge. Lead. Students receive an outstanding legal education (Learn), are taught to critically evaluate prevailing orthodoxy and pursue new ideas (Challenge), and, ultimately, are well prepared to distinguish themselves in their chosen fields (Lead).  It has been one of America’s top-ranked law schools for the last fifteen years.