Intelligence leader Joan Dempsey presents ‘Our Nation’s Security: How Intelligence History Affects the Future’ Oct. 9 Event is fifth in annual Cape May Lessons of History Distinguished Lecture Series

Intelligence leader Joan Dempsey presents ‘Our Nation’s Security: How Intelligence History Affects the Future’ Oct. 9 Event is fifth in annual Cape May Lessons of History Distinguished Lecture Series
quantum stealth
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CAPE MAY – Former leader of the U.S. intelligence community and advisor to two presidents – one Democrat, one Republican – Joan Dempsey will present her lecture “Our Nation’s Security: How Intelligence History Affects the Future,” on Sunday, Oct. 9 at 4 p.m. at Cape May Convention Hall, 714 Beach Ave. This is the fifth annual lecture in the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC) Lessons of History Distinguished Lecture Series. The lecture will be followed by a meet-the-speaker reception hosted by Doug and Anna McMain at The Queen Victoria Bed & Breakfast Inn, 102 Ocean St.
Dempsey is former deputy director of central intelligence for community management and the first woman confirmed by the Senate for one of the top three U.S. intelligence positions; former executive director of the president’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board; former assistant secretary of defense for intelligence and security; former deputy director of defense intelligence for analysis and production; former naval reserve officer and former naval cryptologist.
Her more than 45 years of intelligence and policy experience, combined with her rare position as a senior political appointee in both Republican and Democratic presidential administrations, give her the ultimate insider’s perspective on the history of modern U.S. intelligence:
The history of the Cold War is the history of U.S. intelligence in the modern age. The U.S. government’s insatiable need for information to prevent or counter real and perceived Soviet threats drove development of American space and advanced technology programs that produced radar, lasers, stealth and quantum computing. Intelligence operations during the Cold War often were used as surrogates for “hot wars” but with very real costs and implications for global security that extend far beyond the decades in which they were conducted. The dismantling of that intelligence system in the 1990s had equally dramatic as well as unforeseen implications for global stability. America’s ambivalence about a strong central intelligence system continues to undermine both national and global security.
Joan Dempsey

This lecture is co-sponsored by MAC and Martel & Associates (Myles & Leslie Martel). Tickets for this limited event are before Labor Day; after Labor Day. For lecture and reception: before Labor Day; after Labor Day. To purchase tickets, please call 609-884-5404 or visit For an introduction to Ms. Dempsey visit
The Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC) is a multifaceted not-for-profit organization committed to promoting the preservation, interpretation, and cultural enrichment of the Cape May region for its residents and visitors. MAC membership is open to all. For information about MAC’s year-round schedule of tours, festivals, and special events, call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278, or visit MAC’s Web site at For information about restaurants, accommodations and shopping, call the Chamber of Commerce of Greater Cape May at 609-884-5508 or visit For information about historic accommodations, contact Cape May Historic Accommodations at

The Honorable Joan A. Dempsey – Biography
Joan Dempsey is an executive vice president in Booz Allen Hamilton’s defense and intelligence business where she leads the national agencies account. Previously she led the firm’s largest defense-managed labor and intelligence accounts and was responsible for strategic development, execution, and day-to-day operations in each account. As a senior partner, she chairs the firm’s Sensitive Risk Review Board. For several years, she led the firm’s participation in the Aspen Ideas Fest where she continues as a frequent panelist on defense issues, cybersecurity and cyber operations, and women in leadership panels.
During a 25-year career in the federal government, she held political appointments twice: first, in President Bill Clinton’s administration upon Senate confirmation, she served as the deputy director of central intelligence for community management; and, in President George W. Bush’s administration, as the executive director of the president’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board.
She also spent 17 years as a senior civilian in the Department of Defense as deputy director of intelligence at the Defense Intelligence Agency, as the deputy assistant secretary of defense for intelligence and security, and as the designated (acting) assistant secretary of command, control, communications and intelligence. She led major Pentagon budget staffs during the budget build-up in the 1980s and during the defense reductions of the 1990s and helped shape budget strategy and execution in both decades. In 1997, she was awarded the Defense Distinguished Civilian Service Award by department Secretary William J. Perry for her work on the Bottom Up Review and the first Defense Quadrennial Review. In 2010, she was appointed as a panel member for the Congressionally-directed Quadrennial Defense Review Independent Panel.
She began her federal civilian service in 1983 as a department Presidential Management Intern. She also served concurrently for 25 years as a naval reserve intelligence officer and was on active duty as a U.S. Navy cryptologic technician.
She was the 2004 recipient of the Security Affairs Support Association William O. Baker Award, an honor she shares with two former secretaries of defense, a U.S. senator, and two former directors of central intelligence. In addition to the Department of Defense Distinguished Civilian Service Award, she is a recipient of the National Intelligence Medal of Achievement, the Intelligence Community Seal Medallion, and The American University Roger W. Jones Award for Executive Leadership.
She was granted an honorary doctorate in 2004 from the Joint Military Intelligence College and she serves currently on the Board of Visitors for the college. She is a member of the board of the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation, and is an ex officio board member of the Central Intelligence Agency Officers Memorial Foundation.

Cape May Lessons of History Distinguished Lecture Series 2012-present
This is the fifth lecture in the Lessons in History Distinguished Lecture Series, which began in 2012 with the inaugural lecture by Dr. Myles Martel, entitled, “Ronald Reagan’s Legacy: Lessons for Today’s Citizen Leaders.” Martel launched MAC’s Lessons of History series with his unique perspective on what made Ronald Reagan one of the most transformative presidents of the 20th century – insights he gained first-hand as he personally coached Reagan for his outstanding performance during the 1980 presidential debates.
In 2013, distinguished speaker Harold Holzer presented “Lessons from Lincoln: The Poetry and Prose of Freedom,” which explored how, more than a century and a half ago, Abraham Lincoln made history twice, both in deed and word, first by ushering in freedom from slavery with his Emancipation Proclamation and second by celebrating its “new birth” with his Gettysburg Address. How Lincoln balanced the prose and poetry of these canonical acts was examined as Holzer recounted the year that Lincoln so deftly balanced the political, military and historic to preserve government of, by, and for the people.
In 2014, David O. Stewart, author of the book by the same name, presented “The Summer of 1787: The Men Who Invented the Constitution,” which explored the conflicts and hard bargaining that invented a government to meet the crises of the not-quite-united states – huge debts, hostile neighbors, armed rebellion, and the very real prospect of dissolving into three nations or more.
In 2015, Col. Cole Kingseed, Ph.D. presented “D-Day: Why it still matters: How America’s European war established the United States as a global power,” which explored the ramifications of the Allied victory on June 6, 1944, not only on the course of World War II, but also as the pivotal step in the United States’ rise to global dominance.

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