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Rochester Institute of Technology
Center for Statesmanship, Law, and Liberty


Annual Symposium: “Balancing Security, Liberty, and Privacy in a Post 9/11 World"
April 8 – 9, 2015

Richard Clarke, Cyber Security Expert, Former Counterterrorism Advisor and Czar under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush & Best-Selling author

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Richard Clarke’s name is synonymous with both Cyber Security and Counter-terrorism. He literally “wrote the book” on both subjects, by leading the US Government on both topics from the White House and then, upon leaving government, by writing the best recognized books on both topics.

On Cyber Security, Clarke’s work goes back as far as 1997 when he became the senior White House official in charge of that then nascent field. He was the first ever Special Advisor on Cyberspace Security to the President of the United States and wrote the National Plan for Cyber Security (for President Clinton) and the National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace (for President Bush 43). Over twenty nations have since developed similar national strategies. Clarke’s book CYBER WAR: The Next National Security Threat and What to do About it, is widely regarded as the seminal work on international cyber conflict.

Today, Clarke is a leading consultant to industry and governments on cyber security and sits on several corporate boards of IT security companies. His writings on cyber security have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and numerous other publications. His book Your Government Failed You: Breaking the Cycle of National Security Disasters was made into a film documentary entitled “State of Security” (

On Counter-terrorism, Clarke was the senior US Government official under three Presidents (Bush, Clinton, Bush) over the course of an unprecedented eleven years of continuous White House service. He was one of the first officials to identify the threat from al Qaeda and to plan and direct actions against it. He was the national crisis manager on 9-11. His work on Counter-Terrorism was summarized on an unclassified basis in his #1 nation-wide best seller, Against All Enemies, Inside America’s War on Terror.

Clarke’s appearance before the 9-11 Commission brought him to public attention, as he alone apologized to the victims families. He then blamed the Bush Administration for inattention to al Qaeda and was one of the first former senior officials to criticize the decision to go to war in Iraq.

Over thirty years in national security positions, Clarke served in the Pentagon, the State Department, the Intelligence Community, and the National Security Council-White House. Since leaving government, he has published five books (including two novels), served for nine years as an on air consultant for ABC News, taught for five years at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and managed his own consulting firm. He is Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Middle East Institute in Washington and a Trustee of Khalifa University in the United Arab Emirates.

Clarke has appeared on television often including The Daily Show, Real Time with Bill Maher, The Colbert Report, ABC World News Tonight, CNN’s The Situation Room, Good Morning America, Meet the Press, the PBS News Hour, Charlie Rose, and PBS Frontline. He frequently is a Keynote Speaker at corporate, university, and government events.