Military Wiki
Michael Hayden
20th Director of the Central Intelligence Agency

In office
May 30, 2006 – February 12, 2009
President George W. Bush
Barack Obama
Preceded by Porter J. Goss
Succeeded by Leon Panetta
Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence

In office
President George W. Bush
Preceded by New Office
Succeeded by Donald Kerr
15th Director of the National Security Agency

In office
President Bill Clinton
George W. Bush
Preceded by Kenneth Minihan
Succeeded by Keith B. Alexander
Personal details
Born March 17, 1945(1945-03-17) (age 77)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Profession Intelligence officer
Military service
Service/branch United States Air Force
Years of service 1967–2008
Rank US-O10 insignia.svg General
Battles/wars Global War on Terrorism
Awards Defense Distinguished Service Medal (2)
Defense Superior Service Medal (2)
Legion of Merit
Bronze Star
Meritorious Service Medal (2)

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 and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. From April 21, 2005 to May 26, 2006 he was the Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence, a position which once made him "the highest-ranking military intelligence officer in the armed forces".[1]

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 May 8, 2006, Hayden was nominated for the position of CIA Director and reappointment to the rank of general following the May 5 resignation of Porter J. Goss, and on May 23 the Senate Intelligence Committee 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.

Hayden speaking at the National Security Law Journal symposium on cybersecurity April 2, 2013, in Washington, D.C.

On July 1, 2008, Hayden retired from the Air Force after nearly 39 years of active-duty military service and continued to serve as Director of the CIA until 12 February 2009.[2] He is currently a principal at the Chertoff Group, a security consultancy co-founded by former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff.[3] Hayden also serves as a Distinguished Visiting Professor at George Mason University School of Public Policy and was elected to the Board of Directors of Motorola Solutions effective January 4, 2011.[4]

Early life, career, and family

Michael Vincent Hayden was born on St. Patrick's Day in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to an Irish-American couple, Sadie and Harry Hayden, Jr. 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 Dan Rooney, the son of the founder of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and current Chairman of the team. One of Hayden's first jobs was as an equipment manager for the Steelers.[5] 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 commuting with his wife and family to at least 3-4 games a year.[5]

He was commissioned through University of Pittsburgh's Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps program.[6] Hayden entered active military service in 1969.

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 his current assignment, 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.

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

Intelligence career

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."[7]

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.[8]

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 information technology 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.[9] 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.[9][10][11][12] Hayden however has said that he believed everything the agency was doing was "effective, appropriate, and lawful".[13]

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 Global war on terror. One notable example is its relationship with the Unmanned aerial vehicle 'drone' program.[14]

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 that the White House order to build 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.[15]


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 US citizens and for being a waste of money. The critics included Diane S Roark, of the House Intelligence Committee, NSA workers Thomas Andrews Drake, Binney, 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.[13]

Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence

Hayden is sworn in as 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, General Hayden participated in a news conference.[16] A YouTube video[17] was posted of Michael Hayden telling reporters at a press conference that "probable cause" is not in the 4th Amendment.

George W. Bush announces his nomination of Hayden as the next Director of the CIA as Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte looks on.

Hayden was also a supporter of "enhanced interrogation techniques".[18]

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.[19] He was later confirmed on May 26, 2006 as Director, 78-15, by full U.S. Senate vote.[20]

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".[21]

Hayden is not the first active member of the military to be appointed to run the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Those previously holding the position of Director of Central Intelligence while simultaneously holding a military rank were:

  • Rear Admiral Sidney Souers, a Navy officer, who was the first man to hold the position when the nascent organization was known as the Central Intelligence Group; then-Lieutenant General (later General) Hoyt S. Vandenberg, an Air Force officer, also Director of the CIG; Rear Admiral Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter, a Navy officer who, just prior to his appointment, was a Captain and Commanding Officer of the USS Missouri and who was the first DCI of the CIA; General Walter Bedell Smith, an Army officer
  • President Jimmy Carter appointed Admiral Stansfield Turner, a Navy officer and a classmate of President Carter at the United States Naval Academy.

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.[22]

Military career

Awards and decorations

AF Master Intel.jpg Master Intelligence Badge
US - Presidential Service Badge.png Presidential Service Badge
Defense Distinguished Service Medal
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Defense Superior Service Medal with oak leaf cluster
Width-44 crimson ribbon with a pair of width-2 white stripes on the edges Legion of Merit
Width-44 scarlet ribbon with width-4 ultramarine blue stripe at center, surrounded by width-1 white stripes. Width-1 white stripes are at the edges. Bronze Star Medal
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Width-44 crimson ribbon with two width-8 white stripes at distance 4 from the edges.
Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal
Air Force Achievement Medal
Joint Meritorious Unit Award
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
Air Force Organizational Excellence Award
National Security Medal[23]
Bronze star
Width=44 scarlet ribbon with a central width-4 golden yellow stripe, flanked by pairs of width-1 scarlet, white, Old Glory blue, and white stripes
National Defense Service Medal with service star
Armed Forces Service Medal
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Air Force Overseas Short Tour Service Ribbon with oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Air Force Overseas Long Tour Service Ribbon with two oak leaf clusters
Silver oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Air Force Longevity Service Award with five oak leaf clusters
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 (1 July 2010, "For service to bilateral and international security relations between Australia and the United States")[24]
Den kongelige norske fortjenstorden kommandør med stjerne stripe.svg Royal Norwegian Order of Merit (Commander with Star)[25]

Effective dates of promotion

Insignia Rank Date
US-O10 insignia.svg General April 22, 2005
US-O9 insignia.svg Lieutenant General  May 1, 1999
US-O8 insignia.svg Major General October 1, 1996
US-O7 insignia.svg Brigadier General September 1, 1993
US-O6 insignia.svg Colonel November 1, 1990
US-O5 insignia.svg Lieutenant Colonel February 1, 1985
US-O4 insignia.svg Major June 1, 1980
US-O3 insignia.svg Captain December 7, 1971
US-O2 insignia.svg First Lieutenant June 7, 1970
US-O1 insignia.svg Second Lieutenant June 2, 1967


His native Northside neighborhood of Pittsburgh renamed a major highway leading to Heinz Field in his honor.[26]

On 26 July 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.[6]


  1. "Biographies : GENERAL MICHAEL V. HAYDEN". Archived from the original on 2012-07-22. Retrieved 2012-03-06. 
  2. Hayden announces his retirement from the Air Force, April 23, 2008
  3. Chertoff Group (2009). General Michael V. Hayden. Retrieved February 18, 2012.
  4. Motorola Solutions Announces New Board of Directors Effective Jan. 4. Retrieved December 1, 2010.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Mike Wise - Mike Wise: The Spy Who Loved Rooney". 2008-11-03. Retrieved 2012-03-06. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 Ceremony program, Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps Distinguished Alumni Induction, Maxwell AFB, Alabama, 26 July 2011, page 5.
  7. [July 1997 Popular Science] Information Warriors of the 609th Popular Science July 1997 on Google Books (needs expanding)]
  8. Hayden Faces Senate and CIA Hurdles if Named: General Has Streak Of Independence And Nonconformity May 7, 2006
  9. 9.0 9.1 James Bamford, Body of Secrets, Doubleday, 2001
  10. Gen. Hayden Statement to Congress - see section 27[dead link]
  11. EFF class action suit[dead link]
  12. [1] Remarks By General Michael V. Hayden: What American Intelligence & Especially The NSA Have Been Doing To Defend The Nation] Jan 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".
  13. 13.0 13.1 The Secret Sharer, Jane Mayer, The New Yorker, May 23, 2011, retrieved 2011 May 16
  14. James Bamford, The Shadow Factory, 2008, Doubleday
  15. Transcript of National Press Club interview of General Hayden regarding wiretaps
  16. Democracy Now! coverage of the January 23 National Press Club meeting., September 7, 2010
  17. YouTube video titled Michael Hayden: "probable cause" is not in the 4th Amendment, September 7, 2010
  18. Birthers, Truthers and Interrogation Deniers, Michael Hayden, June 2011, Wall Street Journal
  19. Hayden named as Bush CIA choice 8 May 2006
  20. U.S. Senate: Legislation & Records Home > Votes > Roll Call Vote May 26, 2006
  21. Bush says U.S. not 'trolling through personal lives' May 12, 2006
  22. Porter, Gareth. "CIA's Push for Drone War Driven by Internal Needs." IPS, 5 September 2011.
  23. Paul Bedard (January 16, 2009). "CIA's Hayden, Kappes Receive National Security Medal From Bush". Retrieved September 13, 2012. 
  24. "It's an Honour". 2010-07-01. Retrieved 2012-03-06. 
  25. [2], King Honours Intelligence Chiefs
  26. Bedard, Paul (2008-07-29). "CIA Director Michael Hayden's Post at the Steelers' Heinz Field - Washington Whispers". Retrieved 2012-03-06. 

External links

Government offices
Preceded by
Kenneth A. Minihan
Director of the National Security Agency
Succeeded by
Keith B. Alexander
Preceded by
Initial Principal Deputy Director
Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence
Succeeded by
Ronald L. Burgess, Jr. (acting)
Preceded by
Porter Goss
Director of the Central Intelligence Agency
Succeeded by
Leon Panetta

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