John Brennand

John Brennand – A Lifelong Santa Barbara


John Brennand was an influential leader in the Santa Barbara racing community and exceptional engineer. He also was a beloved husband, father and brother.

He was a driving force in the running community for many years, establishing new races and expanding a network of local runners. His legacy lives on.

Early Life and Education

John Brennand was a pillar of the community, devoted to athletics and education. He helped shape the local running scene in ways that are enduring, and he was instrumental in making Santa Barbara a mecca for competitive runners.

He was also an accomplished engineer and a loving husband, father and brother. He is survived by his wife, Robin, and their three children, Bob, Nate and Scott.

In his spare time, he completed a PhD by creative project at Victoria University in Performance Studies titled Voice Lab: Songs of being as philosophical enquiry. He also initiated several artistic projects, including a performance duo called Sublime Folly – the most impressive of which is a tangle of edited videos and audio’scores’ gleaned from his bike rides around Melbourne.

Professional Career

Brennan has held numerous high-level positions in national security and foreign affairs, including as deputy national security advisor, assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism, founding director of the National Counterterrorism Center and, most recently, as director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

During his career, brennand has been involved in some of the most pivotal events in world history. He has seen the September 11 attacks, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Arab Spring, ISIS, Russian election meddling, and much more.

He also served as the daily intelligence briefer to President Bill Clinton and as the founding director of the National Counterterrorism Center. He now serves as a distinguished fellow at Fordham Law School’s Center on National Security. He follows a long line of prominent experts and practitioners who have spent time as fellows at the Center, including terrorism expert Peter Bergen, New Yorker writer Lawrence Wright, and former NYPD and Pentagon official Michael Sheehan.

Achievements and Honors

The first person after Robert Gates to rise through the CIA ranks, John Owen Brennan was director of the agency from 2013 to 2017. He had previously worked as an intelligence briefer for President Bill Clinton, top deputy to CIA director George Tenet, and chief counterterrorism advisor to President Barack Obama.

He currently works as a Distinguished Fellow at the Center on National Security at Fordham Law School, as a Distinguished Scholar at the University of Texas at Austin, as a senior national security and intelligence analyst for NBC and MSNBC, and as an advisor to a variety of private sector companies.

He is married to Kathy Pokluda Brennan, with whom he has two daughters. They have been together for 40 years.

Personal Life

Brennan has been known for his cerebral and courtly approach to politics, as well as his moral depth that was complemented by his dry Irish wit. He also had a reputation for defending enhanced terrorist interrogation techniques, which were widely criticized during the Bush administration.

During the Obama administration, he served as assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism, shaping US policies on homeland security, terrorism, cyberattacks, natural disasters, and pandemics. He also served as director of the Central Intelligence Agency from March 2013 to January 2017.

His career with the CIA started in 1980 when he joined its operations department as a career officer. He later worked as an analyst for Near East and South Asia, a daily intelligence briefer to President Bill Clinton, station chief in Saudi Arabia, chief of staff to CIA director George Tenet and director of the National Counterterrorism Center. He then briefly served in the private sector as chairman of the Intelligence and National Security Alliance and CEO of The Analysis Corporation.

Net Worth

John Owen Brennan is a government official who has led the Central Intelligence Agency for 25 years. His net worth is estimated to be $4 million as of 2022.

During his time with the CIA, he led an investigation into potential Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, which was believed to have influenced Republican Donald Trump’s victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton.

He also served as the Deputy National Security Advisor for Homeland Security from 2009 to 2013. In this position, he oversaw policies related to drones and other counterterrorism efforts.

Brennan’s CIA security clearance was revoked by President Trump in 2018. After leaving the agency, he became an analyst for NBC News and MSNBC. He is also a non-resident scholar at the University of Texas.

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