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Former NSA director to speak Nov. 5 as part of Kuehne Speaker Series

General Keith B. Alexander

During a recent interview with Bloomberg News, retired Army Gen. Keith B. Alexander, the longest-serving director of the National Security Agency, suggested that this summer's hack of the security systems of JPMorgan Chase may have been orchestrated by Russia as a warning to the U.S. over its Ukraine-related sanctions.

"How would you shake the United States back? Attack a bank in cyberspace. If it was them, they just sent a real message: 'You're vulnerable,'" Alexander said during the interview, also noting that the hackers who targeted JP Morgan were "a nation-state backed group" that had "exceptional skills."

Alexander, who was named director of the NSA in 2005 and served until he retired in March 2014, will speak in Dallas Nov. 5 for the University of North Texas' Kuehne Speaker Series on National Security luncheon. The event begins at noon at Hyatt Regency Dallas, 300 Reunion Blvd.

Registration is $70 for individuals, with sponsorships for a table of eight costing $1,000. Other sponsorship opportunities are available. Seatsmay be purchased at

The UNT Kuehne Speaker Series was created in fall 2013 with support from UNT alumnus Ernie W. Kuehne, a 1966 graduate who is the president and board chairman of Kuehne Oil Co. The series showcases UNT's nationally and internationally recognized programs on national and human security, and faculty members who are engaged in research related to national and human security issues.

The speakers for the inaugural year of the Kuehne Speaker Series were retired Admiral James Stavridis, the first Navy officer to have served as both commander of the U.S. European Command and NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Europe; retired Gen. Michael Hayden, former director of both the NSA and the Central Intelligence Agency; and author and geopolitical analyst Robert D. Kaplan, who was named one of the world's "Top 100 Global Thinkers" by Foreign Policy magazine.

Alexander was appointed director of the NSA and also chief of the Central Security Service in 2005 by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. As one of the Army's first digitally proficient general officers, he expanded the NSA's powers and influence and, in 2010, became the first leader of U.S Cyber Command, a new organization devoted to planning, coordinating and conducting operations and defense of Department of Defense computer networks.

Before becoming director of the NSA, Alexander was deputy chief of staff at the Department of the Army headquarters in Washington, D.C., from 2003-2005; commanding general of the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, from 2001-2003; director of intelligence at the U.S. Central Command at Florida's MacDill Air Force Base from 1998-2001; and deputy director for intelligence for the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1997-1998.

He served in a variety of command assignments in Germany and the U.S., and held key staff assignments during Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm in Saudi Arabia for the 1st Armored Division. Alexander also served in Afghanistan on a peacekeeping mission for the Army Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence.

Alexander retired from the NSA several months after former NSA contractor Edward Snowden leaked information about the agency's global surveillance programs to the Washington Post, the Guardian and other news outlets. He has started his own company to provide cybersecurity services to American companies.

He received his bachelor's degree from the U.S. Military Academy and holds a master's degree in business administration from Boston University and master's degrees in systems technology (electronic warfare) and in physics from the Naval Postgraduate School. He also received a master's degree in national security strategy from the National Defense University.

—Nancy Kolsti, news promotions

Posted on: Thu 02 October 2014

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