JOEL BRENNER

Areas of Focus:

FOCI Mitigation

Intelligence Oversight

Data Protection and Privacy

Cybersecurity

Risk Management


Joel Brenner is a Senior Advisor at The Chertoff Group.  From 2006 to 2009, Mr. Brenner was the head of U.S. counterintelligence under the Director of National Intelligence, responsible for integrating the counterintelligence activities of the 17 departments and agencies with intelligence authorities, including the FBI and CIA and elements of the Department of Defense, Energy, and Homeland Security.  From 2002 to 2006, Mr. Brenner served as the Inspector General of the National Security Agency (NSA), responsible for the agency’s top-secret internal audits and investigations worldwide.    From 2009-2010 he served as Senior Counsel to NSA, advising Agency leadership on the public-private effort to create better security for the Internet.   

In private practice, Mr. Brenner represented clients in a wide variety of transactions and proceedings including sensitive foreign acquisitions and overseas operations, the liability of foreign governments, export controls, and internal corporate investigations. He also served as a prosecutor in the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division and has extensive trial and arbitration experience.  He is the author of America the Vulnerable: Inside the New Threat Matrix of Digital Espionage, Crime, and Warfare (Penguin, 2001), available in paperback as Glass Houses: Privacy, Secrecy, and Cyber Insecurity in a Transparent World (Penguin, 2013). 

Mr. Brenner is a senior research fellow at MIT's Center for International Studies, where he teaches a graduate seminar in the Security Studies Program.  He is a member of the Intelligence Community Studies Board under the American Academies of Science, Engineering and Technology and serves on the boards of several U.S. subsidiaries of foreign companies under agreements with the U.S. government. He is a special advisor to the advisory committee of the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Law & National Security and has written about intelligence oversight and Presidential authority to suspend or prohibit foreign takeovers of U.S. firms.  Mr. Brenner has been quoted in the national media on security and intelligence issues.

Mr. Brenner was educated at the Harvard Law School (J.D.), the London School of Economics and Political Science (Ph.D.), and the University of Wisconsin-Madison (B.A.).   Mr. Brenner was awarded the Intelligence Community Achievement Medal in July 2009.

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