National Security Advisor (United States)

National Security Advisor (United States)

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The Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, commonly referred to as the National Security Advisor (abbreviated NSA, or sometimes APNSA or ANSA to avoid confusion with the abbreviation of the National Security Agency
National Security Agency
The National Security Agency/Central Security Service is a cryptologic intelligence agency of the United States Department of Defense responsible for the collection and analysis of foreign communications and foreign signals intelligence, as well as protecting U.S...

), serves as the chief advisor to the President of the United States
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 on national security issues. This person serves on the National Security Council
United States National Security Council
The White House National Security Council in the United States is the principal forum used by the President of the United States for considering national security and foreign policy matters with his senior national security advisors and Cabinet officials and is part of the Executive Office of the...

 within the Executive Office of the President
Executive Office of the President of the United States
The Executive Office of the President consists of the immediate staff of the President of the United States, as well as multiple levels of support staff reporting to the President. The EOP is headed by the White House Chief of Staff, currently William M. Daley...

. The National Security Advisor's office is located in the West Wing
West Wing
The West Wing is the building housing the official offices of the President of the United States. It is the part of the White House Complex in which the Oval Office, the Cabinet Room, the Situation Room, and the Roosevelt Room are located...

 of the White House
White House
The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the president of the United States. Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., the house was designed by Irish-born James Hoban, and built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia sandstone in the Neoclassical...

. He or she is supported by a staff that produces research, briefings, and intelligence for the NSA to review and present to the National Security Council and the President of the United States.

The National Security Advisor is appointed by the President without confirmation
Advice and consent
Advice and consent is an English phrase frequently used in enacting formulae of bills and in other legal or constitutional contexts, describing a situation in which the executive branch of a government enacts something previously approved of by the legislative branch.-General:The expression is...

 by the United States Senate
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

. As such, they are not connected to the bureaucracies of the Departments of State
United States Department of State
The United States Department of State , is the United States federal executive department responsible for international relations of the United States, equivalent to the foreign ministries of other countries...

 and Defense
United States Department of Defense
The United States Department of Defense is the U.S...

, and are therefore able to offer independent advice. The power and role of the National Security Advisor varies from administration to administration.

In times of crisis, the National Security Advisor operates from the White House Situation Room
White House Situation Room
The White House Situation Room is a conference room and intelligence management center in the basement of the West Wing of the White House. It is run by the National Security Council staff for the use of the President of the United States and his advisors to monitor and deal...

, updating the President on the latest events of a crisis.

The current office holder is Thomas E. Donilon
Thomas E. Donilon
Thomas E. “Tom” Donilon is the National Security Advisor in the Obama Administration, and has had a career as a U.S. political advisor, government official and lawyer...

.

List of National Security Advisors

# Picture Name Term of Office President(s)
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 served under
Start End
1 Robert Cutler
Robert Cutler
Robert Cutler was a U.S. government official. He was the first person appointed to the newly created position of National Security Advisor during the Eisenhower Administration, serving between 1953 and 1955, and again from 1957 to 1958...

March 23, 1953 April 2, 1955 Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States, from 1953 until 1961. He was a five-star general in the United States Army...

2 Dillon Anderson
Dillon Anderson
Dillon Anderson was a U.S. administrator. He served as the National Security Advisor from 2 April 1955 to 1 September 1956. He also was a member of the Draper Committee.-Biography:...

April 2, 1955 September 1, 1956
3 William H. Jackson
William Harding Jackson
William Harding Jackson was a U.S. civilian administrator, New York lawyer, and investment banker who served as Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Jackson also served briefly under President Dwight D...

September 1, 1956 January 7, 1957
4 Robert Cutler
Robert Cutler
Robert Cutler was a U.S. government official. He was the first person appointed to the newly created position of National Security Advisor during the Eisenhower Administration, serving between 1953 and 1955, and again from 1957 to 1958...

January 7, 1957 June 24, 1958
5 Gordon Gray June 24, 1958 January 13, 1961
6 McGeorge Bundy
McGeorge Bundy
McGeorge "Mac" Bundy was United States National Security Advisor to Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson from 1961 through 1966, and president of the Ford Foundation from 1966 through 1979...

January 20, 1961 February 28, 1966 John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

, Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon Baines Johnson , often referred to as LBJ, was the 36th President of the United States after his service as the 37th Vice President of the United States...

7 Walt W. Rostow April 1, 1966 January 20, 1969 Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon Baines Johnson , often referred to as LBJ, was the 36th President of the United States after his service as the 37th Vice President of the United States...

8 Henry Kissinger
Henry Kissinger
Heinz Alfred "Henry" Kissinger is a German-born American academic, political scientist, diplomat, and businessman. He is a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. He served as National Security Advisor and later concurrently as Secretary of State in the administrations of Presidents Richard Nixon and...

January 20, 1969 November 3, 1975 Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

, Gerald Ford
Gerald Ford
Gerald Rudolph "Jerry" Ford, Jr. was the 38th President of the United States, serving from 1974 to 1977, and the 40th Vice President of the United States serving from 1973 to 1974...

9 Lt Gen
Lieutenant General
Lieutenant General is a military rank used in many countries. The rank traces its origins to the Middle Ages where the title of Lieutenant General was held by the second in command on the battlefield, who was normally subordinate to a Captain General....

 Brent Scowcroft
Brent Scowcroft
Brent Scowcroft, KBE was the United States National Security Advisor under Presidents Gerald Ford and George H. W. Bush and a Lieutenant General in the United States Air Force. He also served as Military Assistant to President Richard Nixon and as Deputy Assistant to the President for National...

November 3, 1975 January 20, 1977 Gerald Ford
Gerald Ford
Gerald Rudolph "Jerry" Ford, Jr. was the 38th President of the United States, serving from 1974 to 1977, and the 40th Vice President of the United States serving from 1973 to 1974...

10 Zbigniew Brzezinski
Zbigniew Brzezinski
Zbigniew Kazimierz Brzezinski is a Polish American political scientist, geostrategist, and statesman who served as United States National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1981....

January 20, 1977 January 21, 1981 Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter
James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. is an American politician who served as the 39th President of the United States and was the recipient of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, the only U.S. President to have received the Prize after leaving office...

11 Richard V. Allen
Richard V. Allen
Richard Vincent Allen was the United States National Security Advisor to President Ronald Reagan from 1981 to 1982.Allen was born in 1936 in Collingswood, New Jersey. A graduate of Saint Francis Preparatory School in Spring Grove, Pennsylvania, Allen received his B.A. and M.A. degrees from the...

January 21, 1981 January 4, 1982 Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

12 William P. Clark January 4, 1982 October 17, 1983
13 LtCol
Lieutenant Colonel (United States)
In the United States Army, United States Air Force, and United States Marine Corps, a lieutenant colonel is a field grade military officer rank just above the rank of major and just below the rank of colonel. It is equivalent to the naval rank of commander in the other uniformed services.The pay...

 Robert C. McFarlane
October 17, 1983 December 4, 1985
14 VADM
Vice admiral (United States)
In the United States Navy, the United States Coast Guard, the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Corps, and the United States Maritime Service, vice admiral is a three-star flag officer, with the pay grade of...

 John M. Poindexter
December 4, 1985 November 25, 1986
15 Frank C. Carlucci December 2, 1986 November 23, 1987
16 GEN
General
A general officer is an officer of high military rank, usually in the army, and in some nations, the air force. The term is widely used by many nations of the world, and when a country uses a different term, there is an equivalent title given....

 Colin L. Powell
November 23, 1987 January 20, 1989
17 Lt Gen
Lieutenant General
Lieutenant General is a military rank used in many countries. The rank traces its origins to the Middle Ages where the title of Lieutenant General was held by the second in command on the battlefield, who was normally subordinate to a Captain General....

 Brent Scowcroft
Brent Scowcroft
Brent Scowcroft, KBE was the United States National Security Advisor under Presidents Gerald Ford and George H. W. Bush and a Lieutenant General in the United States Air Force. He also served as Military Assistant to President Richard Nixon and as Deputy Assistant to the President for National...

January 20, 1989 January 20, 1993 George H. W. Bush
George H. W. Bush
George Herbert Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 41st President of the United States . He had previously served as the 43rd Vice President of the United States , a congressman, an ambassador, and Director of Central Intelligence.Bush was born in Milton, Massachusetts, to...

18 W. Anthony Lake January 20, 1993 March 14, 1997 Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

19 Samuel R. Berger March 14, 1997 January 20, 2001
20 Condoleezza Rice
Condoleezza Rice
Condoleezza Rice is an American political scientist and diplomat. She served as the 66th United States Secretary of State, and was the second person to hold that office in the administration of President George W. Bush...

January 22, 2001 January 25, 2005 George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

21 Stephen Hadley
Stephen Hadley
Stephen John Hadley was the 21st U.S. Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs , serving under President George W. Bush....

January 26, 2005 January 20, 2009
22 Gen
General (United States)
In the United States Army, United States Air Force, and United States Marine Corps, general is a four-star general officer rank, with the pay grade of O-10. General ranks above lieutenant general and below General of the Army or General of the Air Force; the Marine Corps does not have an...

 James L. Jones
James L. Jones
James Logan Jones, Jr. is the former United States National Security Advisor and a retired United States Marine Corps General....

 (Ret.)
January 20, 2009 October 8, 2010 Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

23 Tom Donilon
Thomas E. Donilon
Thomas E. “Tom” Donilon is the National Security Advisor in the Obama Administration, and has had a career as a U.S. political advisor, government official and lawyer...

October 8, 2010 Incumbent