James R. Clapper Jr. was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence on April 11, 2007. He is the principal staff assistant and advisor to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Defense regarding intelligence, counterintelligence and security matters. He is also dual-hatted as the Director of Defense Intelligence and reports directly to the Director of National Intelligence as his principal advisor regarding defense intelligence matters.
Mr. Clapper previously served as the chief operating officer for Detica DFI. Prior to his position at DFI International, he served as the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency director from September 2001 to June 2006; he was the first civilian director of the NGA. He retired as a lieutenant general from the U.S. Air Force in 1995, after a 32-year career.
Prior to his appointment as director of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency in September 2001, he worked in industry for six years as an executive in three successive companies. His business focus was on the intelligence community.
Mr. Clapper's last military assignment was as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. His earlier assignments included a variety of intelligence-related positions such as assistant chief of staff, intelligence, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, during Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm, and as director of intelligence for three war-fighting commands: U.S. Forces, Korea; Pacific Command; and Strategic Air Command.
Mr. Clapper has served as a consultant and advisor to Congress and the Departments of Defense and Energy, and as a member of a wide variety of government panels, boards, commissions and advisory groups. He was a member of the Downing Assessment Task Force that investigated the Khobar Towers bombing in 1996, and was vice chairman of a commission chaired by former Governor Jim Gilmore of Virginia on the subject of homeland security.
He earned a bachelor's degree in government and politics from the University of Maryland, a master's degree in political science from St. Mary's University, San Antonio, Texas, and an honorary doctorate in strategic intelligence from the Joint Military Intelligence College.
His awards include three National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medals, the Defense Distinguished Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, the Coast Guard’s Distinguished Public Service Award, the Department of Defense Distinguished Civilian Service Award and a host of other U.S. military and foreign government awards and decorations. He served two combat tours during the Southeast Asia conflict and flew 73 combat support missions in EC-47s over Laos and Cambodia. He was named as one of the Top 100 Information Technology Executives by Federal Computer Week in 2001 and has received the NAACP National Distinguished Service Award, and the Presidentially conferred National Security Medal.