Leila Gardner

USMC, Marine Corps Headquarters
Deputy Commandant for Information and Assistant Director of Intelligence

Ms. Gardner is the Deputy Commandant for Information- Intelligence Division’s Intelligence Mission Manager and is the Assistant Director of Intelligence. As the Assistant Director of Intelligence she manages the Headquarters Intelligence Branches and provides professional intelligence management and policy support to assist the Director of Intelligence (DIRINT) and the Deputy Commandant for Information (DCI) in the conduct of Marine Corps Intelligence activities within the Marine Corps, Defense, and National Intelligence Communities. As the USMC Intelligence Mission Manager, she advises the DCI, the DIRINT, and the Marine Corps Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Enterprise (MCISRE) on all aspects of strategic, operational, and tactical intelligence, including current and future programs. While on a Joint Duty Assignment with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), Ms. Gardner was the Deputy Research Director for Military Capabilities from September 2018-September 2019 and from February 2017 to August 2018, she served at the Mission Manager for Europe Eurasia at the DIA. From October 2019 to October 2020 Ms. Gardner spent a year on active duty as a Navy Commander as a Defense Liaison to the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defense-Intelligence at RAF Wyton’s Pathfinder Five Eyes Facility. Prior to joining DIA on a Joint Duty Assignment in February 2017, she was the Senior Advisor to the Director of Intelligence for Analysis and Production, Headquarters, Marine Corps. In that position she represented the Marine Corps as the senior intelligence analyst and provided policy and management guidance on intelligence analysis and production in order to assist the Director of Intelligence in the conduct of Service Intelligence activities within the Marine Corps, Defense, and National Intelligence Communities.

Ms. Gardner was selected as a Defense Intelligence Senior Leader in September 2011. Her areas of responsibility include Advancing Analysis across the Marine Intelligence Enterprise, the Unified Intelligence Strategies, National Intelligence Estimates, and strategic planning. She was assigned to the Marine Corps Intelligence Activity (MCIA) from 2000-2010 where she held various analytic and leadership positions including threat analysis and regional specialist. Her areas of concentration included cultural intelligence, irregular warfare, and the need to utilize open source material to provide intelligence products at the lowest classification level. In October 2010 she assumed the duties as the N2, Director of Analysis, for the KENNEDY Irregular Warfare Center at the Office of Naval Intelligence.

Ms. Gardner began her intelligence career in 2000 at the Marine Corps Intelligence Activity where she served in a number of analytical positions including the Balkans, Horn of Africa, and Russia regional analysis. In addition to her duties as Senior Associate Mission Manager, Ms. Gardner is a commissioned intelligence officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve. She was commissioned in 2003 after having served 10 years as an enlisted Marine Corps intelligence specialist in the Marine Corps Reserve. Her personal decorations include the Bronze Star, Joint Service Commendation medal (oak leaf in lieu of second award), Navy Commendation medal (gold star in lieu of second award), Joint Service Achievement medal and Navy Marine Corps Achievement medal.

Ms. Gardner is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University and holds a Master of Science in Military Studies degree from Marine Corps Command and Staff College. She received her Intelligence Community Officer designation in 2009.

Last updated on: October 14, 2022