Michael Hayden (general)

Michael Hayden
2nd Director of the Central Intelligence Agency
In office
May 30, 2006  February 12, 2009
President George W. Bush
Barack Obama
Deputy Albert M. Calland III
Stephen Kappes
Preceded by Porter Goss
Succeeded by Leon Panetta
Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence
In office
April 21, 2005  May 30, 2006
President George W. Bush
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Ronald Burgess (acting)
15th Director of the National Security Agency
In office
March 1999  April 21, 2005
President Bill Clinton
George W. Bush
Preceded by Kenneth Minihan
Succeeded by Keith Alexander
Personal details
Born Michael Vincent Hayden
(1945-03-17) March 17, 1945
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political party Independent[1][2][3]
Spouse(s) Jeanine Carrier
Children 3
Education Duquesne University (BA, MA)
Military service
Nickname(s) "Mike"[4]
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch  United States Air Force
Years of service 1967–2008
Rank General
Battles/wars War on Terror
Awards Defense Distinguished Service Medal (3)
Defense Superior Service Medal (2)
Legion of Merit
Bronze Star
Meritorious Service Medal (3)

Michael Vincent Hayden (born March 17, 1945) is a retired United States Air Force four-star general and former Director of the National Security Agency, Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence, and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Hayden currently co-chairs the Bipartisan Policy Center's Electric Grid Cyber Security Initiative.[5] In 2017, Hayden became a national security analyst for CNN.[6]

He was Director of the National Security Agency (NSA) from 1999 to 2005. During his tenure as director, he oversaw the controversial NSA surveillance of technological communications between persons in the United States and alleged foreign terrorist groups, which resulted in the NSA warrantless surveillance controversy.

On April 21, 2005, then Lt. Gen Hayden, was confirmed by the United States Senate as the first Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence and awarded his fourth star-making him "the highest-ranking military intelligence officer in the armed forces".[7] He served in this position under DNI John Negroponte until May 26, 2006.

On May 8, 2006, Hayden was nominated for the position of Director of the Central Intelligence Agency following the May 5 resignation of Porter J. Goss, and on May 23 the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence voted 12–3 to send the nomination to the Senate floor. His nomination was confirmed by the United States Senate on May 26 by a vote of 78–15. On May 30, 2006, and again the following day at the CIA lobby with President George W. Bush in attendance, Hayden was sworn in as the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

On July 1, 2008, Hayden retired from the Air Force after over 41 years of service and continued to serve as Director of the CIA until February 12, 2009.[8] He received an honorary doctorate from The Institute of World Politics in Washington, D.C. in 2009. He is currently a principal at the Chertoff Group, a security consultancy co-founded by former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff.[9] Hayden also serves as a Distinguished Visiting Professor at George Mason University's Schar School of Policy and Government. He was elected to the Board of Directors of Motorola Solutions effective January 4, 2011.[10]

Early life and education

Michael Vincent Hayden was born on March 17, 1945, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to an Irish-American couple, Sadie (Murray) and Harry V. Hayden Jr.,[11] who worked as a welder for a Pennsylvania manufacturing company. He has a sister, Debby, and a brother, Harry.

He went to St. Peter's Elementary School where, in 7th and 8th grade he played quarterback on the school football team then being coached by the late Dan Rooney, the son of the founder of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and former Chairman of the team. Michael Hayden graduated from North Catholic High School. One of Hayden's first jobs was as an equipment manager for the Steelers.[12] Hayden went on to Duquesne University in Pittsburgh where he earned a B.A. in history in 1967 and was commissioned as a second lieutenant. He then attended graduate school at Duquesne for an M.A. in modern American history. He continues to be an avid fan of the hometown Pittsburgh Steelers, since the 1990s traveling with his wife and family to at least three or four games a year.[12]

He was commissioned through Duquesne University's Air Force Reserve Officers' Training Corps program.[13] Hayden entered active military service in 1969.

Personal life

He is married to Jeanine Carrier, and they have a daughter and two sons, Margaret, Michael and Liam.

Intelligence career

Hayden has served as commander of the Air Intelligence Agency and Director of the Joint Command and Control Warfare Center, both headquartered at Lackland Air Force Base. He also has served in senior staff positions in the Pentagon; Headquarters U.S. European Command, Stuttgart, Germany; the National Security Council, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Embassy in the then-People's Republic of Bulgaria. Prior to becoming Director of the National Security Agency, the general served as deputy chief of staff for United Nations Command and U.S. Forces Korea, Yongsan Garrison. He has also worked in intelligence in Guam.

Air Intelligence Agency

From 1996 to 1997, Hayden served as Commander of the AIA, an agency of 16,000 charged with defending and exploiting the "information domain."[14]

National Security Agency

Hayden served as the Director of the National Security Agency and Chief of the Central Security Service at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland from March 1999 to April 2005. As the Director of NSA and Chief of CSS, he was responsible for a combat support agency of the Department of Defense with military and civilian personnel stationed worldwide.[15]

Strategy for the NSA

Hayden came to the NSA at a time of great trouble in the agency. Internal government analysis indicated it suffered from a lack of quality management and an outdated IT infrastructure. In fact soon after he came on board, a huge part of the NSA network system crashed and was down for several days. Part of his plan to revitalize the agency was to introduce more outside contractors, induce a lot of old managers to retire and get rid of old management structures. Part of his plan also included increased openness at the agency; it had historically been one of the most secretive organs of government. He notably allowed James Bamford access for his book Body of Secrets.[16] Hayden was also initially extremely concerned with following the laws against domestic surveillance. Many reports say that after 9/11, he became more concerned with stopping terrorism, and allegedly softened his stance against domestic surveillance.[16][17][18][19] Hayden however has said that he believed everything the agency was doing was "effective, appropriate, and lawful".[20]

On 9/11, Hayden immediately evacuated all non-essential personnel from NSA headquarters. After 9/11, the agency greatly increased its activity. Details about its operations have been largely hidden, but it played a major role in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the War on Terror. One notable example is its relationship with the unmanned aerial vehicle 'drone' program.[21]

Wiretaps of domestic communication

In May 2006, USA Today reported that, under Hayden's leadership, the NSA created a domestic telephone call database. During his nomination hearings, Hayden defended his actions to Senator Russ Feingold and others, stating that he had relied upon legal advice from the White House that building the database was supported by Article Two of the United States Constitution executive branch powers (in which the President must "take care that the laws be faithfully executed"), overriding legislative branch statutes forbidding warrantless surveillance of domestic calls, which included the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Previously, this action would have required a warrant from a FISA court. The stated purpose of the database was to eavesdrop on international communications between persons within the U.S. and individuals and groups overseas in order to locate terrorists.[22]


Hayden also championed the Trailblazer Project, a "transformation" project with a large information technology component. The project was criticized by several NSA staffers for not including privacy protections for United States citizens and for being a waste of money. The critics included Diane S Roark, of the House Intelligence Committee, NSA workers Thomas Andrews Drake, William Binney, J. Kirk Wiebe, and Loomis, and others. Hayden severely rebuked these critics. Several quit in protest. After investigations by the NSA inspector general, the DOD inspector general, and Congress, Trailblazer was shut down.[20]

Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence

As part of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, the CIA chief no longer would run the intelligence community. Instead a new office was created for this purpose; the Director of National Intelligence. General Hayden became the Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence from May 2005 to May 2006 under the first DNI, John Negroponte.

Civil liberties

On January 23, 2006, Hayden participated in a news conference.[23] A YouTube video[24] was posted of Michael Hayden telling reporters at a press conference that "probable cause" is not required for all searches or seizures under the Fourth Amendment, claiming instead that the standard is whether the search or seizure is reasonable. "Probable cause" is required for all warrants whether or not the search or seizure is deemed to be "unreasonable."

Hayden referred to people who believed that torture of CIA detainees has never yielded useful intelligence as "interrogation deniers".[25]

Director of the Central Intelligence Agency

On May 8, 2006, Hayden was nominated by President George W. Bush to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency after the resignation of Porter J. Goss on May 5, 2006.[26] He was later confirmed on May 26, 2006, as Director, 78–15, by full U.S. Senate vote.[27]

Critics of the nomination and Hayden's attempts to increase domestic surveillance included Senator Dianne Feinstein who stated on May 11, 2006, that "I happen to believe we are on our way to a major constitutional confrontation on Fourth Amendment guarantees of unreasonable search and seizure".[28]

Hayden has been accused of lying to Congress during his 2007 testimony about the CIA's 'enhanced interrogation program.[29][30]

In 2007, Hayden lobbied to allow the CIA to conduct drone strikes purely on the behavior of ground vehicles, with no further evidence of connection to terrorism.[31]

In 2008 Hayden warned of the destabilizing consequences of Muslim migration to Europe that might raise the possibility of civil unrest.[32]

In 2013, after the P5+1 reached a nuclear agreement with Iran, Hayden said, "We have accepted Iranian uranium enrichment."[33]

The 2014 Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture cited an email prepared by a subordinate that indicated that as CIA Director, Hayden instructed that out-of-date information be used in briefing Congress so that fewer than 100 Guantanamo Bay detainees would be reported.[34]

NSA spying scandal

In September 2013, Hayden stressed the indisputable legality of "what the NSA is doing" and called Edward Snowden a "troubled young man" and "morally arrogant to a tremendous degree"; he also said about his prospects in Russia: "I suspect he will end up like most of the rest of the defectors who went to the old Soviet Union: Isolated, bored, lonely, depressed—and most of them ended up alcoholics."[35]

Military career

Awards and decorations

Master Intelligence Badge
Presidential Service Badge
Defense Distinguished Service Medal with two bronze oak leaf clusters
Defense Superior Service Medal with oak leaf cluster
Legion of Merit
Bronze Star Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal
Air Force Achievement Medal
Joint Meritorious Unit Award with oak leaf cluster
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with "V" Device and two oak leaf clusters
Air Force Organizational Excellence Award with oak leaf cluster
National Security Medal[36]
Distinguished Intelligence Medal[36]
National Defense Service Medal with two service stars
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Korea Defense Service Medal
Armed Forces Service Medal
Air Force Overseas Short Tour Service Ribbon with two oak leaf clusters
Air Force Overseas Long Tour Service Ribbon with three oak leaf clusters
Air Force Longevity Service Award with eight oak leaf clusters
Air Force Longevity Service Award (tenth award)
Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon
Air Force Training Ribbon
Order of National Security Merit, Cheon-Su Medal (Republic of Korea)
Officer of the Order of Australia (July 1, 2010, "For service to bilateral and international security relations between Australia and the United States")[37]
Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, Commander's Cross
Royal Norwegian Order of Merit, Commander with Star[38]

Effective dates of promotion

GeneralApril 22, 2005
Lieutenant General May 1, 1999
Major GeneralOctober 1, 1996
Brigadier GeneralSeptember 1, 1993
ColonelNovember 1, 1990
Lieutenant ColonelFebruary 1, 1985
MajorJune 1, 1980
CaptainDecember 7, 1971
First LieutenantJune 7, 1970
Second LieutenantJune 2, 1967


In 2008, in his native Northside neighborhood, the city of Pittsburgh named a part of a street going past Heinz Field in his honor.[39] On July 26, 2011, Hayden was inducted into the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps Distinguished Alumni in a ceremony at Maxwell AFB, Alabama, officiated by Lt. Gen. Allen G. Peck, Commander, Air University.[13] He serves as a member of the Board of Advisors of the Military Cyber Professionals Association (MCPA)[40]



  • Hayden, Michael V. (2016). Playing to the Edge: American Intelligence in the Age of Terror. New York: Penguin Press. ISBN 9781594206566. 
  • Hayden, Michael V. (2018). The Assault on Intelligence: American National Security in an Age of Lies. New York: Penguin Press. ISBN 9780525558583. 

Critical studies and reviews of Hayden's work

Playing to the Edge was one of The New York Times Book Review's 100 Most Notable Books of 2016.[42]

See also

  • United States Air Force portal
  • Intelligence portal


  1. "I would not label myself as a Republican." comment by General Michael Hayden on August 11, 2016, on MSNBC Morning Joe. See at approximately 6:52 in clip here: http://www.msnbc.com/morning-joe/watch/general-hayden-trump-insults-his-audience-742217795645
  2. Comments from General Michael Hayden at a book event in Pittsburgh on August 13, 2016. See approximately 1:50 – 3:37 here: http://www.wpxi.com/news/raw-channel-11s-bill-phillips-sits-down-with-former-cia-nsa-director-general-hayden-/422698571
  3. "@GenMhayden: RINO requires me to be a Republican. I'm actually an independent. Always have been". Twitter. 10 August 2016.
  4. "Dick Cheney on Conversations with Bill Kristol".
  5. "New Collaboration at the Bipartisan Policy Center Confronts the Issues of Cybersecurity Governance and the Electric Power Sector". BIpartisan Policy Center.
  6. "April Ryan Joins CNN As Political Analyst". WHUR Radio. April 4, 2017. Retrieved April 7, 2017.
  7. "Biographies : GENERAL MICHAEL V. HAYDEN". United States Air Force. Archived from the original on July 22, 2012. Retrieved March 6, 2012.
  8. Hayden announces his retirement from the Air Force Archived May 13, 2008, at the Wayback Machine., April 23, 2008.
  9. Chertoff Group (2009). General Michael V. Hayden. Retrieved February 18, 2012.
  10. Motorola Solutions Announces New Board of Directors Effective Jan. 4. Retrieved December 1, 2010.
  11. "Harry V. Hayden Jr". Pittsburgh Tribune Review.
  12. 1 2 "Mike Wise – Mike Wise: The Spy Who Loved Rooney". The Washington Post. November 3, 2008. Retrieved March 6, 2012.
  13. 1 2 Ceremony program, Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps Distinguished Alumni Induction, Maxwell AFB, Alabama, July 26, 2011, page 5.
  14. O'Malley, Chris (July 1997). "Information Warriors of the 609th". Popular Science. pp. 71–74; here: p. 74.
  15. Ricks, Thomas E.; Linz, Dafna (May 7, 2006). "Hayden Faces Senate and CIA Hurdles If Named". Washington Post. Retrieved March 12, 2017.
  16. 1 2 James Bamford, Body of Secrets, Doubleday, 2001
  17. "Statement for the record by Lieutenant General Michael V. Hayden, USAF, Director, National Security Agency / Chief, Central Security Service, before the Joint inquiry of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence" (PDF). October 17, 2002. Section 27. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 31, 2005.
  18. EFF class action suit Archived April 21, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  19. Remarks By General Michael V. Hayden: What American Intelligence & Especially The NSA Have Been Doing To Defend The Nation January 23, 2006, his testimony that, "One senior executive confided that the data management needs we outlined to him were larger than any he had previously seen".
  20. 1 2 The Secret Sharer, Jane Mayer, The New Yorker, May 23, 2011, Retrieved May 16, 2011
  21. James Bamford, The Shadow Factory, 2008, Doubleday
  22. John Pike. "Remarks By General Michael V. Hayden: What American Intelligence & Especially The NSA Have Been Doing To Defend The Nation".
  23. Democracy Now! coverage of the January 23 National Press Club meeting. Archived May 11, 2006, at the Wayback Machine., September 7, 2010
  24. Michael Hayden: "probable cause" is not in the 4th Amendment on YouTube, September 7, 2010
  25. Birthers, Truthers and Interrogation Deniers, Michael Hayden, June 2011, Wall Street Journal
  26. Hayden named as Bush CIA choice May 8, 2006
  27. U.S. Senate: Legislation & Records Home > Votes > Roll Call Vote May 26, 2006
  28. Bush says U.S. not 'trolling through personal lives' Archived June 15, 2006, at the Wayback Machine., CNN, May 12, 2006
  29. "What Happens When You Lie To Congress?" Time. 10 December 2014.
  30. "Michael Hayden: The Nation's Biggest Liar, or Unassailable Patriot?". Bloomberg. 10 December 2014.
  31. Porter, Gareth. "CIA's Push for Drone War Driven by Internal Needs." IPS, September 5, 2011.
  32. Joby Warrick (April 30, 2008). "CIA Chief Sees Unrest Rising With Population". The Washington Post.
  33. Seher, Jason. "Former CIA head: U.S. has 'accepted Iranian uranium enrichment'". CNN. Retrieved December 2, 2013.
  34. Ashkenas, Jeremy (December 9, 2014). "7 Key Points From the C.I.A. Torture Report". The New York Times. Retrieved June 9, 2014.
  35. Peterson, Andrea. "Former NSA chief: 'Morally arrogant' Snowden will probably become an alcoholic". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 18, 2013.
  36. 1 2 Paul Bedard (January 16, 2009). "CIA's Hayden, Kappes Receive National Security Medal From Bush". usnews.com. Retrieved September 13, 2012.
  37. "It's an Honour". Itsanhonour.gov.au. July 1, 2010. Retrieved March 6, 2012.
  38. "King Has Honoured Surveillance Chiefs". News in English.No – Views and News from Norway. August 22, 2013. Retrieved March 12, 2017.
  39. Bedard, Paul (July 29, 2008). "CIA Director Michael Hayden's Post at the Steelers' Heinz Field – Washington Whispers". usnews.com. Retrieved March 6, 2012.
  40. Board pf Advisors, Military Cyber Professionals Association, http://public.milcyber.org/leadership/advisors
  41. Online version is titled "A spymaster opens up".
  42. "100 Notable Books of 2016". The New York Times Book Review. November 23, 2016. Retrieved July 14, 2018.
Government offices
Preceded by
Kenneth Minihan
Director of the National Security Agency
Succeeded by
Keith Alexander
New office Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence
Succeeded by
Ronald Burgess
Preceded by
Porter Goss
Director of the Central Intelligence Agency
Succeeded by
Leon Panetta
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