Retired lieutenant general, United States Air Force, former Director of National Intelligence
James R. Clapper served as the fourth U.S. Director of National Intelligence (DNI) from August 9, 2010 to January 20, 2017. In this position, Clapper served as the principal intelligence advisor to President Barack Obama. He retired in 1995 after a distinguished career in the U.S. Armed Forces.
His career began in 1961 when he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve and culminated as a lieutenant general in the U.S. Air Force and Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. Clapper’s intelligence-related positions over his 32 years in uniform include Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence at Headquarters, U.S. Air Force during Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm, and Director of Intelligence for three combatant commands: U.S. Forces, Korea, Pacific Command, and Strategic Air Command. He served two combat tours during the Southeast Asia conflict, and flew 73 combat support missions in EC-47’s over Laos and Cambodia.
Prior to becoming the Director of National Intelligence, Clapper served for over three years in two Administrations as the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, where he served as the principal staff assistant and advisor to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary on intelligence, counterintelligence, and security matters for the Department. In this capacity, he was also dual-hatted as the Director of Defense Intelligence for the DNI.
His awards include three National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medals, two Defense Distinguished Service Medals, the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, the Coast Guard’s Distinguished Public Service Award, three Department of Defense Distinguished Civilian Service Awards, the Presidentially-conferred National Security Medal, and many other U.S. civilian and military, as well as foreign government, awards and decorations.
The Common Good hosted Clapper with moderator John Berman in Facts and Fears: Hard Truths and Intelligence: James Clapper - November 7, 2018. Clapper became a member of The Common Good Honorary Advisory Board thereafter.