Former CIA director and Obama adviser to take part in conversation

Former CIA director John Brennan with the Poynter Fellowship logo.

Former CIA director John Brennan will take part in a conversation on Wednesday, Dec. 6, with Harold Hongju Koh, Sterling Professor of International Law at the Law School. His visit is co-sponsored by the Poynter Fellowship in Journalism and The Politic.

 “A Conversation with John Brennan” will take place at 7:30 p.m. in Rm. 102 of Linsley-Chittenden Hall, 63 High Street. It is free and open to the public.

Brennan’s lifelong career of service culminated in his role as CIA director, a position he held from 2013 to 2017 under President Barack Obama. Prior to becoming CIA director, he served as President Obama’s deputy national security adviser for homeland security and counterterrorism. He also advised President Obama on foreign policy and intelligence issues during the 2008 presidential campaign.

Brennan’s 25-year CIA career spanned four presidents and a diverse range of roles. He speaks Arabic fluently, and he was stationed as the CIA station chief in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in the 1990s. Brennan’s career in intelligence has earned him several honors, including the National Security Medal, the Distinguished Intelligence Medal, and two Director of Central Intelligence Director’s Medals.

Since leaving his position at the CIA in January, Brennan has expressed concern about Russia’s role in the 2016 presidential election. In September, he was named a distinguished fellow for global security at Fordham Law School’s Center on National Security and a distinguished non-resident scholar the University of Texas at Austin, from which he received a master’s degree in government in 1980.

The Poynter Fellowship in Journalism was established by Nelson Poynter, who received his master’s degree in 1927 from Yale. The fellowship brings to campus journalists from a wide variety of outlets who have made significant contributions to their field. Among recent Poynter fellows are John Kirby, Susan Glasser, and Graeme Wood.