Last week WashingtonExec hosted its Inaugural Leadership Speaker Series with Keynote Speaker General Michael V. Hayden, Principal at The Chertoff Group and Author of Playing to the Edge: American Intelligence in the Age of Terror. The midday event at The Ritz-Carlton in Tysons Corner was attended by over 100 business leaders in the national capital region.
General Michael V. Hayden is a former Director of the National Security Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency. He was also the first Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence. Playing to the Edge addresses General Hayden’s views and guiding principles while serving as the head of multiple intelligence agencies. In his remarks last week, General Hayden specifically covered NSA’s terrorist surveillance program, the CIA’s changing role in the years since September 11th 2001, and the challenges of U.S. allies. General Hayden also offered an unprecedented, high-level master speech on the history of America’s intelligence, as told from a person who faced these issues head on. General Hayden ended the formal program by discussing his perspective of Showtime’s documentary The Spymasters — CIA in the Crosshairs, the recent privacy debate between Apple and the FBI, and intelligence issues from a global outlook.
“Gen. Hayden was an exceptionally motivating and inspirational speaker for WashingtonExec’s Inaugural Leadership Speaker Series,” said Greg Baroni, Chairman and CEO of Attain and Chairman of the Leadership Council. “His insights on pushing leadership ‘to the edge’ while balancing the priorities critical to protecting our nation captivated our audience. So many of us lead too far from the edge, and Gen. Hayden compelled me to reflect on the boundaries we set as leaders.”
General Hayden is a Distinguished Visiting Professor at George Mason University and was introduced by fellow GMU Professor Dr. John Hillen. Questions from the audience ranged from General Hayden’s Catholic school upbringing and its impact on his decision-making process, to his stance on today’s U.S. relations with Pakistan since the Osama bin Laden-raid in 2011. At the end of the program General Hayden was presented with the WashingtonExec Luminary Award. The Luminary Award is given to those who showcase innovative thinking and strong convictions within the broader United States defense community. In the words of Henry A. Kissinger, “A leader does not deserve the name unless he is willing occasionally to stand alone.”
“I couldn’t think of a better leader to kick off WashingtonExec’s Leadership Speaker Series than General Michael V. Hayden. His tremendous career, contributions, and insights exemplify what this program and community are all about. General Hayden’s perspectives on the challenges and successes in leading the NSA and CIA in a post-9/11 era were fascinating and reminded us all that strong and committed leadership will never go out of style,” said Sid Fuchs, CEO of MacAulay-Brown, Inc.
MacAulay-Brown, Inc. (MacB), a leading National Security company delivering advanced engineering services and product solutions to Defense, Intelligence, Special Operations Forces, Homeland Security and Federal agencies, served as the first Platinum Sponsor for the WashingtonExec Leadership Speaker Series.
“Having the opportunity to meet General Hayden and then hear him speak about his personal accounts of writing his book was a great experience. My staff and guests loved the event; it’s going to be tough to top this one,” said Tim Smith, President, OnPoint.
The VIP Reception Sponsor was OnPoint, a technology consulting firm in Arlington, Virginia. Sotera Defense Solutions, Pragmatics, CALIBRE, SC3 and NCI, Inc. were a few of the local businesses represented. George Jameson of Jameson Consulting invited General Hayden to speak at the inaugural event.