The Honorable Ellen E. McCarthy

National Security Leader, Board Advisor, CEO, Chairwoman

The Honorable Ellen E. McCarthy is the Chairwoman and CEO of the Truth in Media Cooperative. She is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Maryland and sits on advisory boards for Penn State Applied Research Lab, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, SAP NS2, Fortem Technologies, Exiger, and Babel Street, providing first-hand insights on artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, effective leadership, driving innovation and digital transformation.

Ms. McCarthy has over three decades of national security service in a variety of leadership roles spanning numerous intelligence organizations and disciplines.  Most recently appointed Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, confirmed by the U.S. Senate, and sworn in on January 17, 2019. In this role, she reported to the Secretary of State and led a team that provided intelligence insights and activities to support foreign policy and national security purposes. In particular, she focused on advancing INR intelligence integration across the State Department, especially the missions and embassies around the world, expanding outreach, diversity, and partnerships, and driving innovation.

From 2015-2018 she served as Chief Operating Officer of the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, where she helped the Director lead the agency and drive transformation with a specific focus on leveraging private sector tools and capabilities and focusing government resources on unique and vital national security capabilities.  She also championed agile governance, recruitment, and retention of a diverse workforce.

From 2004 to 2008, Ms. McCarthy was the Director of the Human Capital Management Office and the Acting Director of Security and Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence (OUSD(I)). At DoD, she focused on policy development and strategy relating to intelligence reform, resource management, acquisitions, collection authorities, and personnel. Ms. McCarthy also served as the Director of Intelligence Operations, Strategy, and Policy for the United States Coast Guard (USCG) and played a critical role in moving the USCG intelligence program into the IC, establishing Maritime Intelligence Fusion Centers, expanding USCG attaché presence worldwide, and establishing new intelligence and law enforcement collection capabilities.

Ms. McCarthy started her government career as an all source intelligence analyst at the Office of Naval Intelligence and at Atlantic Fleet.

Ms. McCarthy’s government service was reinforced by experience gained in the private sector. From 2016-2019, she served as President of Noblis NSP, leading its mission to provide cybersecurity and data analyst tools and services to clients in the Intelligence Community (IC). From 2008 to 2012 she served as the President of the Intelligence and National Security Alliance (INSA), which supports government policy and programs relating to cybersecurity, counterintelligence, acquisition, and homeland security.

Before joining the IC, she served as a technical research analyst at the Institute for Defense Analysis supporting the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization and a reporter at THE Capital newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland. Ms. McCarthy is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from the University of Maryland.

Last updated on: July 6, 2023