Javed Ali on leadership change at the National Counterterrorism Center

March 18, 2020

On March 16, President Trump announced his intention to nominate Christopher Miller, currently Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Combating Terrorism, as head of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC). Javed Ali weighs in on the proposed nomination in a recent article in the Washington Post, “Trump plans to nominate Special Forces veteran to head counterterrorism center amid uncertainty about its future.”

The NCTC was set up after 9/11 to be a central source of information and analysis about potential terrorist threats, bringing together specialists from other federal agencies including the FBI, CIA, and the Department of Defense. It is part of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

Prior to his current role, Miller served as senior director for counterterrorism at the National Security Council. Ali, who was Miller’s predecessor in that role, and is also a former senior NCTC official, says Miller’s background makes him a good fit to lead the NCTC. Miller “is bringing all of that experience—in operations, in Defense Department policy as a civilian and in NSC policy—to NCTC,” Ali said. “Hopefully he will have a fair amount of autonomy instead of being directed to implement a pre-existing mandate.”


Read the full Washington Post article by Ellen Nakashima here.


Javed Ali is a Towsley Foundation Policymaker in Residence at the Ford School. A former senior director for counterterrorism at the National Security Council, Ali has over 20 years of professional experience in national security and intelligence issues in Washington, D.C., serving in the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. While at the FBI, he also held senior positions on joint duty assignments at the National Intelligence Council, the National Counterterrorism Center, and the National Security Council under the Trump Administration. Ali holds a BA in political science from the University of Michigan, a JD from the University of Detroit School of Law, and an MA in international relations from American University.