Society & Culture

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to deliver UGA Charter Lecture Oct. 16

Charter Lecture James Clapper-v
James Clapper

Athens, Ga. – Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper will deliver the University of Georgia Charter Lecture on Oct. 16 at 11:15 a.m. in the UGA Chapel.

Admission to the lecture is free but will require a ticket due to limited seating. Anyone with a valid UGACard can obtain a ticket at no charge at the third floor cashier’s window in the Tate Student Center beginning at 9 a.m. on Oct. 9. Tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. UGACard holders must be present to pick up tickets. The lecture will be broadcast live on Channel 15 of the university and Charter cable systems and streamed live at

“The Charter Lecture has through the years attracted highly regarded scholars to our campus,” said UGA President Jere W. Morehead. “Director Clapper’s lecture promises to be an outstanding addition to the roster of distinguished Charter scholars, and I very much look forward to his speech.”

Clapper was sworn in as the fourth Director of National Intelligence in 2010. In this role, he leads the nation’s intelligence community and serves as the principal intelligence adviser to President Barack Obama. His lecture is titled “The Importance of Intelligence Integration.”

“We are delighted that Director Clapper will be sharing insights from his decades of service to the nation with the campus community,” said Libby V. Morris, interim senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. “His visit provides an exceptional opportunity for our students and faculty to reflect on and discuss issues related to national security.”

Prior to becoming Director of National Intelligence, Clapper served for more than three years in two administrations as the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, where he served as the principal staff assistant and adviser to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Defense on intelligence, counterintelligence and security matters for the department. In this capacity, he also served as the Director of Defense Intelligence for two previous Directors of National Intelligence.

“Director Clapper is one of the most knowledgeable people in the country when it comes to national security affairs,” said Loch Johnson, Regents and Meigs Professor in the UGA School of Public and International Affairs. “He is more responsible than anyone for providing the President and other policy officials with up-to-date, accurate and objective information about global threats facing the United States. It will be an honor to have him on campus as a Charter lecturer.”

Clapper’s military career began as a rifleman in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve and culminated with service as a lieutenant general in the U.S. Air Force and director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. His intelligence-related positions over his 32 years in uniform included Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence at U.S. Air Force Headquarters during Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm and Director of Intelligence for three war-fighting commands: U.S. Forces Korea, Pacific Command and Strategic Air Command. He also served two combat tours during the Southeast Asia conflict and flew 73 combat support missions in EC-47s over Laos and Cambodia.

Directly following his retirement from the armed forces in 1995, Clapper worked in industry for six years as an executive in three successive companies, his business focus being the intelligence community. Clapper also served as a consultant and adviser to Congress and to the Departments of Defense and Energy and as a member of a wide variety of government panels, boards, commissions and advisory groups.

Clapper returned to the government in September 2001 as the first civilian director of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency. He served as director for five years and transformed it into the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, as it is today.

Clapper 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 in San Antonio and an honorary doctorate in strategic intelligence from the Joint Military Intelligence College (now the National Intelligence University).

His awards include three National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medals, two Defense Distinguished Service Medals, 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 was named as one of the Top 100 Information Technology Executives by Federal Computer Week in 2001, received the National Distinguished Service Award from the NAACP and was awarded the National Security Medal by President Bill Clinton.

The Charter Lecture Series was established in 1988 to honor the high ideals expressed in the 1785 charter that created UGA as the first state-chartered university in America. Previous speakers have included U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey, biologist Edward O. Wilson, literary critic and scholar Henry Louis Gates, and geographer and author Jared M. Diamond. For a list of past Charter lecturers, see

Note to editors: As of Oct. 9, this lecture has been postponed until further notice.