Michael E. Leiter
Former Director, National Counterterrorism Center
Senior Counsel, Palantir Technologies
Michael Leiter is a Senior Counselor at Palantir Technologies. Prior to that, he was the Director of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC). Leiter was sworn in as the Director of NCTC on June 12, 2008, upon his confirmation by the U.S. Senate and after serving as the Acting Director since November 2007. Before joining NCTC, Mr. Leiter served as the Deputy Chief of Staff for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). In this role Mr. Leiter assisted in the establishment of the ODNI and coordinated all internal and external operations for the ODNI, to include relationships with the White House, the Departments of Defense, State, Justice, and Homeland Security, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the Congress. He was also involved in the development of national intelligence centers, including NCTC and the National Counterproliferation Center, and their integration into the larger Intelligence Community. In addition he served as an intelligence and policy advisor to the DNI and PDDNI. Prior to his service with the ODNI, Mr. Leiter served as the Deputy General Counsel and Assistant Director of the President’s Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction (the “Robb-Silberman Commission”). While with the Robb-Silberman Commission, Mr. Leiter focused on reforms of the U.S. Intelligence Community, in particular the development of what is now the National Security Branch of the FBI. he is currently a Senior Counselor at Palantir Technologies.
From 2002 until 2005 he served with the Department of Justice as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. At the Justice Department, Mr. Leiter prosecuted a variety of federal crimes, including narcotics offenses, organized crime and racketeering, capital murder, and money laundering. Immediately prior to his Justice Department service, Mr. Leiter served as a law clerk to Associate Justice Stephen G. Breyer of the Supreme Court of the United States and to Chief Judge Michael Boudin of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. From 1991 until 1997 he served as a Naval Flight Officer flying EA-6B Prowlers in the U.S. Navy, participating in U.S., NATO, and UN operations in the former Yugoslavia and Iraq.
Mr. Leiter also served as a Harvard Law School human rights fellow with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague. Mr. Leiter received his J.D. from Harvard Law School where he graduated magna cum laude and was President of the Harvard Law Review; his B.A. from Columbia University. He is a member of the Aspen Homeland Security Group.