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Joseph Maguire (born 1952) is the current Director of the National Counterterrorism Center. He retired from the United States Navy as a Vice Admiral in 2010 after 36 years of military service.[1] Prior to retiring from active duty, he was the Deputy Director for Strategic Operational Planning at National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC).[2]

Joseph Maguire
Joseph Maguire official photo.jpg
Acting Director of National Intelligence
Assumed office
August 16, 2019
PresidentDonald Trump
Preceded byDan Coats
Director of the National Counterterrorism Center
Assumed office
December 27, 2018
PresidentDonald Trump
Preceded byRussell Travers (acting)
Personal details
Born1952 (age 66–67)
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
EducationManhattan College (BS)
Naval Postgraduate School (MS)
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Navy
Years of service1974−2010
RankUS-O9 insignia.svg Vice Admiral
CommandsUnited States Naval Special Warfare Command

Appointed by US President Donald Trump, Maguire became Acting Director of National Intelligence on August 16, 2019.[3] Shortly afterwards, Maguire was head of National Intelligence during the Trump–Ukraine scandal. On September 13, 2019, the House Intelligence Committee issued a subpoena to Maguire alleging that he was unlawfully withholding a whistleblower complaint from the committee,[4][5] with Maguire to testify on September 26.[6]

Early lifeEdit

Maguire is from Brooklyn, New York.[7] He graduated from Manhattan College with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1974.[8]

Naval careerEdit

Maguire as a Vice Admiral around 2008

Maguire joined the Navy in 1974 and spent his career as a Naval Special Warfare Officer.[8] His first sea duty tour assignment was aboard USS Coronado.[9] In 1977, he completed Navy SEAL training despite having a broken leg.[10] From 1979 to 1981, Maguire was the Flag Lieutenant to Commander Amphibious Forces Seventh Fleet (CTF 76).[7][9] He graduated from the Naval Postgraduate School with a masters degree in Scientific and Technical Intelligence in 1985.[8][11]

From 1989 to 1993, he served in the Bureau of Naval Personnel, Washington, D.C., where he was Naval Special Warfare's Assignment Officer and Community Manager. He then served as Commanding Officer, SEAL Team TWO from 1993 to 1994. He was a 1994–95 National Security Fellow at Harvard University. He was Commanding Officer, Naval Special Warfare Center from 1997 to 1999.[7][9]

From 2004 to 2007, Maguire served as Commander, Naval Special Warfare Command. From 2007 until 2010, he was the National Counterterrorism Center's deputy director for strategic operational planning.[7][9] He retired from the Navy in 2010 with the rank of Vice Admiral.[8]

Private civilian careerEdit

After he retired, Maguire went to work as a vice president of Booz Allen Hamilton.[10]

Maguire served for three years on the board of the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, a foundation which provides financial assistance to severely wounded special operations troops as well as support for the children of those troops who have died. He then became the President and Chief Executive Officer of the foundation in 2013.[10]

Government careerEdit

In June 2018, Maguire was nominated to be the Director of the National Counterterrorism Center by President Donald Trump.[1] This nomination was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in December 2018.[12] He was sworn in on December 27, 2018.[11]

Acting Director of National IntelligenceEdit

On August 8, 2019, President Donald Trump announced that Maguire would become acting Director of National Intelligence (acting DNI) on August 15, 2019.[3] Maguire's designation as acting DNI occurred after the previous director, Daniel Coats, resigned from office, and after Trump refused to permit the deputy director, Susan M. Gordon, to become acting DNI.[13]

Ukraine whistleblower complaintEdit

Maguire was acting DNI at the time that a member of the United States Intelligence Community (IC) submitted a formal whistleblower complaint to the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community (IGIC), regarding President Donald Trump's communications with a foreign leader; the complaint said that Trump had made a troubling "promise" to the foreign leader.[14] (It was subsequently revealed that the complaint related to a July 2019 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in which Trump pressed the Ukrainian government to investigate Trump's political rival, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., and his family).[15]

The whistleblower's complaint was deemed credible and a matter of "urgent concern" by the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community (IGIC).[16] Under federal law, when the IGIC determines that an complaint credibly raises an urgent concern, he or she forwards it to the relevant agency head (here, the DNI), who is required to forward it to the congressional intelligence committees within seven days.[17] In this case, however, Maguire, withheld the complaint from Congress.[18][19]

Maguire's refusal prompted the House committee to issue a subpoena to Maguire, ordering him to either immediately hand over the whistleblower's complaint to Congress or give testimony to the House Intelligence Committee explaining why he was refusing to do so.[19] Schiff accused Maguire of illegally withholding a properly submitted whistleblower complaint in an unprecedented way, and said that the matter raised "serious concerns about whether White House, Department of Justice or other executive branch officials are trying to prevent a legitimate whistleblower complaint from reaching its intended recipient, the Congress, in order to cover up serious misconduct."[18] Schiff stated that Maguire has cited a "higher authority, someone above the DNI" in his refusal to turn over the whistleblower complaint.[5]

According to a report in the Washington Post, Maguire threatened to resign as acting DNI over concerns that the Trump administration might attempt to constrain his testimony to Congress over the intelligence whistleblower's complaint."[13] The report stated that Maguire had "expressed his displeasure to White House counsel Pat Cipollone and others that the White House had put him in the untenable position of denying the material to Congress over a claim that it did not fall within his jurisdiction as leader of the intelligence community."[13] In a statement, Maguire denied that he had contemplated resigning, saying "at no time have I considered resigning my position since assuming this role on Aug. 16, 2019."[13]

External video
  Maguire's testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, September 26, 2019, C-SPAN

Maguire initially refused to testify before the House Intelligence Committee at a hearing on September 19,[19] but later agreed to give testimony on the whistleblower complaint in an open session of the House Intelligence Committee on September 26.[20] It was unclear whether Maguire had "forced the White House to acquiesce and allow him to testify without constraint."[13] In a statement, Maguire said that he had followed the law "every step of the way," was "committed to protecting whistleblowers and ensuring every complaint is handled appropriately," and aimed to "work with the Administration and Congress to find a resolution regarding this important matter."[13]


Maguire and his wife have two children.[21]

Awards and decorationsEdit

Image galleryEdit


  1. ^ a b "President Donald J. Trump Announces Intent to Nominate Personnel to Key Administration Posts". The White House. June 22, 2018. Retrieved June 26, 2018.
  2. ^ "NCTC:Press Room". Retrieved March 5, 2008.
  3. ^ a b "Trump names counterterrorism chief as acting director of national intel. - Breaking News - Jerusalem Post". Retrieved August 8, 2019.
  4. ^ Sonam Sheth (September 16, 2019). "The acting director of national intelligence is withholding a mysterious whistleblower complaint of 'urgent concern' that may involve Trump". Retrieved September 16, 2019.
  5. ^ a b Olivia Gazis (September 15, 2019). "Adam Schiff says DNI cited "higher authority" in refusal to turn over whistleblower complaint". Retrieved September 16, 2019.
  6. ^ Hughes, Siobhan (September 18, 2019). "Acting Intelligence Chief Agrees to Testify Before House Panel Over Whistleblower Complaint". The Wall Street Journal.
  7. ^ a b c d "Questionnaire for completion by Presidential Nominees: Joseph Maguire" (PDF). U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. July 3, 2018. p. 3. Retrieved September 26, 2019.
  8. ^ a b c d Wicker, Ben (June 25, 2018). "President Trump to Nominate Navy Vet Joseph Maguire to be Director of National Counterterrorism Center". Washington Executive. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  9. ^ a b c d "Navy Biography: Vice Admiral Joseph Maguire". United States Navy. December 4, 2008.
  10. ^ a b c Strout, Nathan (August 10, 2019). "Trump names retired Navy SEAL vice admiral new acting director of national intelligence via Tweet". Defense News. Archived from the original on August 10, 2019. Retrieved August 11, 2019.
  11. ^ a b "Joseph Maguire" (PDF). National Counterterrorism Center.  This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  12. ^ "PN2209 — Joseph Maguire — Office of the Director of National Intelligence". U.S. Congress. December 19, 2018. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  13. ^ a b c d e f Greg Miller, Shane Harris & Karoun Demirjian, Acting director of national intelligence threatened to resign if he couldn’t speak freely before Congress on whistleblower complaint, Washington Post (September 25, 2019).
  14. ^ Greg Miller, Ellen Nakashima & Shane Harris, Trump's communications with foreign leader are part of whistleblower complaint that spurred standoff between spy chief and Congress, former officials say, Washington Post (September 18, 2019).
  15. ^ Nicholas Fandos, Jonathan Martin & Maggie Haberman, As Trump Confirms He Discussed Biden With Ukraine, Pressure to Impeach Builds, New York Times (September 22, 2019).
  16. ^ Mary Clare Jalonick, Acting intelligence chief agrees to testify after subpoena, Associated Press (September 18, 2019).
  17. ^ Kel McClanahan, Q&A on Whistleblower Complaint Being Withheld from Congressional Intelligence Committees, Just Security (September 17, 2019).
  18. ^ a b Kyle Cheney, Schiff accuses top intel official of illegally withholding 'urgent' whistleblower complaint, Politico (September 13, 2019).
  19. ^ a b c Julian E. Barnes & Nicholas Fandos, Acting Intelligence Chief Refuses to Testify, Prompting Standoff With Congress, New York Times (September 17, 2019).
  20. ^ Siobhan Hughes, Acting Intelligence Chief Agrees to Testify Before House Panel Over Whistleblower Complaint, Wall Street Journal (September 18, 2019).
  21. ^ Harris, Shane; Nakashima, Ellen (August 9, 2019). "Trump's pick for intelligence director is a respected Special Operations veteran". Washington Post. Retrieved August 13, 2019.

External linksEdit

Government offices
Preceded by
Dan Coats
Director of National Intelligence