Intelligence czar to address graduates

Mike McConnell, the director of national intelligence, will speak at this year’s Columbian College of Arts and Sciences graduation ceremony.

In 1986, McConnell received his master’s degree in Public Administration from GW. Now he is one of the country’s highest-ranking government officials who oversees a variety of agencies including the National Security Agency. McConnell is the second person to hold his title since President George W. Bush created the position in 2005 and appointed him in 2007.

The University will also present him with an honorary doctorate of public service. The Board of Trustees approved him as an honorary degree recipient at their February meeting.

“I am deeply honored to be returning to my alma mater – the great institution that I attended 22 years ago,” McConnell said in a news release. “George Washington’s public administration curriculum and the skills that I learned at the university have been invaluable to me as the director of national intelligence.”

University President Steven Knapp and CCAS dean Peg Barratt invited McConnell to campus.

“Building on a lifetime of professional experience, he has forged a unique alliance of intelligence-gathering agencies that has reformed the profession to help ensure delivery of reliable intelligence at a time when the need for credible information is at its highest,” Knapp said in the news release.

McConnell is one of the president’s key advisers for homeland security information. Before becoming director of national intelligence, he was director of the NSA and had spent several decades as a Navy admiral.

He is expected to address only one of the two CCAS graduation ceremonies. The events are separated based on major, and students graduating with degrees in political science, media and public affairs, public policy among others will be most likely to hear him speak.

The CCAS graduation ceremonies will take place at Smith Center on Saturday, May 17. The University expects 5,200 people to attend.

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