Joel Brenner

Joel Brenner
Joel Brenner
Former National Counterintelligence Executive
Once head of U.S. counterintelligence and NSA inspector general

Joel Brenner specializes in cyber and physical security, data protection and privacy, and intelligence law. He’s the author of Glass Houses: Privacy, Secrecy, and Cyber Insecurity in a Transparent World and many articles on the challenges of network security.

Brenner served as Senior Counsel at the National Security Agency, advising agency leadership on the public-private effort to create better security for the internet. From 2006 until mid-2009, he led U.S. counterintelligence under the Director of National Intelligence. From 2002-06, Brenner was the NSA’s Inspector General, responsible for that agency’s top-secret internal audits and investigations.

The Center for International Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology awarded him the Robert Wilhelm Fellowship for 2014-15, during which he worked on intelligence and security issues related to foreign affairs. Since 2014, he has been a senior Research Fellow at MIT Center for International Studies & MIT Internet Policy Research Initiative.

Brenner earned a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a J.D. from Harvard Law School, and a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics. He was awarded the Intelligence Community Achievement Medal.