Michael G. Vickers
Former Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence
The Honorable Michael G. Vickers is a member of the Board of Directors of BAE Systems, Inc., the U.S.-based subsidiary of BAE Systems plc.
Vickers was first appointed to the Inc. Board in December 2015. In this role, he brings a tremendous amount of experience and expertise from a distinguished career in the U.S. military, the CIA and the Department of Defense. He served as a national security policy maker and Intelligence Community leader during both Republican and Democratic administrations. He brings a deep knowledge of the needs and challenges of defense and intelligence customers.
Vickers served as Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence from 2011 until April 2015, where he led the Defense Intelligence Enterprise that includes the National Security Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, the National Reconnaissance Office, the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency, and the intelligence components of the military services and combatant commands. Among his accomplishments, he oversaw counterterrorism efforts in multiple countries, playing a major role in the elimination of numerous terrorist leaders, including Usama bin Ladin. He also led a comprehensive transformation of defense intelligence.
From 2007 to 2011, Vickers served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations, Low-intensity Conflict, and Interdependent Capabilities. In this role, he was the Service Secretary for all U.S. Special Operations Forces and oversaw the Department’s strategic forces and conventional force transformation. He helped develop and implement the strategy to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al-Qa’ida.
He gained extensive operational experience during the first two decades of his career as an Operations Officer with the Central Intelligence Agency and as a Special Forces Officer with the U.S. Army. While with CIA, he was the principal strategist for the largest and most successful covert action program in CIA’s history, the paramilitary operation that defeated the Red Army and helped bring an end to the Cold War.
In addition to BAE Systems, Vickers serves as a board member for Fed Data Holdings, Metis Solutions, and Hermetic Solutions Group. He is the Chair of the Advisory Board for SAP National Security Services and an advisory board member of General Atomics & General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Dataminr, Orbis Operations, Beacon Global Strategies, and Predata. Vickers also serves on two classified Intelligence Community advisory boards and is an unpaid consultant for the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence.
Vickers graduated with honors from the University of Alabama with a bachelor’s degree in International Relations, and went on to earn his MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He received his Ph.D. in International Relations and Strategic Studies from the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.