A Conversation on Cybersecurity Legislation with Mike McConnell, Michael Chertoff, and Senior Congressional Staff

Policy and Research Forum Series Special Event


On Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012, the Homeland Security Policy Institute hosted a special Policy and Research Forum Series event featuring Vice Admiral Mike McConnell, USN (Ret.), former Director of National Intelligence, and the Hon. Michael Chertoff, former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security. They were joined by senior staff of the U.S. Senate  and U.S. House of Representatives for a roundtable discussion regarding pending legislation to address the growing cyber threat to U.S. national security.



Keynote Speakers

The Hon. Michael Chertoff
Former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security
Co-founder and Managing Principal, The Chertoff Group
Member, HSPI Steering Committee

Vice Adm. Mike McConnell, USN (Ret.)
Former United States Director of National Intelligence
Former Director, National Security Agency
Vice Chairman, Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc.

Participating Staff Members
Tommy Ross, Office of Majority Leader, U.S. Senate
Jeffrey Ratner, Homeland Security Governmental Affairs Committee (majority), U.S. Senate
Nick Rossi, Homeland Security Governmental Affairs Committee (minority), U.S. Senate
Tom Corcoran, Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, U.S. House of Representatives
Kevin Gronberg, Committee on Homeland Security, U.S. House of Representatives

Moderated by
Frank J. Cilluffo
Director, HSPI


Speaker Biographies

Michael Chertoff

As Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security from 2005 to 2009, Mr. Chertoff led the country in blocking would-be terrorists from crossing our borders or implementing their plans if they were already in the country. He also transformed FEMA into an effective organization following Hurricane Katrina. His greatest successes have earned few headlines -- because the important news is what didn't happen.

Before heading up the Department of Homeland Security, Mr. Chertoff served as a federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Earlier, during more than a decade as a federal prosecutor, he investigated and prosecuted cases of political corruption, organized crime, corporate fraud and terrorism -- including the investigation of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Mr. Chertoff is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard College (1975) and Harvard Law School (1978). From 1979-1980 he served as a clerk to Supreme Court Justice William Brennan, Jr.

Secretary Chertoff's full biography can be found at the Chertoff Group website. He serves as a member of HSPI's Steering Committee.


John M. ("Mike") McConnell

Mike McConnell is Vice Chairman of Booz Allen Hamilton, where his primary roles include serving on the firm’s Leadership Team and leading Booz Allen’s rapidly expanding cyber business. After retiring from the Navy in 1996 as a Vice Admiral, Mr. McConnell joined Booz Allen, and led the development of the firm’s Information Assurance business and the firm’s Intelligence business focused on policy, transformation, homeland security, and intelligence analytics, rising to the position of senior vice president.

Upon being asked by President George W. Bush in 2007 to become the second Director of National Intelligence, he left Booz Allen and served as the DNI for two years under Presidents Bush and Obama. As the DNI he managed the expansive national Intelligence Community – an organization of over 100,000 people, and an annual global enterprise budget of over $47B – and had extensive interactions with the White House, the President’s Cabinet, Congress, international leaders, and the US business community. In 2009, Mr. McConnell returned to Booz Allen as an executive vice president to lead the firm’s Intelligence business. In 2011 he was elevated to his current position as Vice Chairman of the firm.

Mr. McConnell holds an M.P.A. degree from George Washington University, is a graduate of the National Defense University (Global Telecom), the National Defense Intelligence College (Strategic Intelligence), and holds a B.A. degree in Economics from Furman University. In addition to being a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Mr. McConnell has also been awarded three Honorary Doctorate degrees – the most recent from The George Washington University in 2008.

For more, please see a full profile at Booz Allen Hamilton's website.


Event Commentary & Coverage

C-SPAN Event Coverage
February 22, 2012

NSA Chief Seeks Bigger Cybersecurity Role
Wall Street Journal
February 27, 2012

Experts Address Growing Cyber Threat to National Security
GW Today
February 23, 2012

Officials Urge Lawmakers Not to Weaken Cybersecurity Measures
February 22, 2012

FCC Chief Presses Internet Providers on Cybersecurity
February 22, 2012

Michael Chertoff, Mike McConnell Discuss Cybersecurity Bill
February 22, 2012

Cyber Security Act of 2012 requires a liability protection bug fix
Gus Coldebella, HSPI Senior Fellow
The Hill
February 22, 2012



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Cilluffo, Frank and Sharon Cardash. (2011) "Defense cyber strategy avoids tackling the most critical issues." Nextgov, 7/28/2011.
Government Accountability Office. (2011) "GAO-11-75 Defense Department Cyber Efforts: DOD Face Challenges in its Cyber Activities." Washington, D.C.: GAO.
Gross, Michael Joseph. (2011) "Exclusive: Operation Shady rat—Unprecedented Cyber-espionage Campaign and Intellectual-Property Bonanza." Vanity Fair, 8/2/2011.
Krekel, Bryan. (2009) "Report on the Capability of the People's Republic of China to Conduct Cyber Warfare and Computer Network Exploitation." Washington, D.C.: U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission/ Northrop Grumman, Inc.
Lewis, James Andrew. (2008) "Securing Cyberspace for the 44th Presidency." Washington, D.C.: Center for Strategic and International Studies.
McConnell, Michael. (2010) "How to win the cyber war we're losing." The Washington Post, 2/28/2010
Office of the Secretary of Defense. (2011) "Department of Defense Strategy for Operating in Cyberspace." Washington, D.C.: Department of Defense.
Porche, Isaac R., III, et al. (2011) "A Cyberworm that Knows no Boundaries." Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation.


About HSPI's Policy & Research Forum Series

HSPI's Policy & Research Forum Series spotlights cutting-edge security policy solutions and innovative research.  The Series is designed to provide thought leaders in the United States and abroad with a uniquely constructive venue in which to discuss current and future security issues and challenges.