Director, National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), United States of America
Nicholas "Nick" Rasmussen was sworn in as the Director of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) on December 18, 2014, upon his confirmation by the United States Senate. He previously served as NCTC’s Deputy Director since June of 2012.
Prior to returning to NCTC, he had served since October 2007 with the National Security Council staff as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Counterterrorism, where he was responsible for providing staff support to the President, the National Security Advisor and Homeland Security Advisor on counterterrorism policy and strategy.
Mr. Rasmussen previously served at NCTC from 2004-2007 in senior policy and planning positions responsible for producing net assessments of U.S. counterterrorism policy and strategy for the National Security Council (NSC) and the President. From 2001 to 2004 he served on the NSC staff as Director for Regional Affairs in the Office of Combating Terrorism where he focused on Middle East, Southeast Asia and related counterterrorism issues in the period after September 11, 2001.
He joined the Department of State in 1991 as a Presidential Management Intern in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs and for more than a decade served in a variety of key positions. Mr. Rasmussen was Special Assistant to the State Department's Special Middle East Coordinator, Ambassador Dennis Ross, from 1996-2001, providing support to the Arab-Israeli peace process. From 1994-1996 he was a Special
Assistant to Ambassador-at-Large Robert Gallucci, providing analysis of the negotiation and implementation of the U.S.-North Korea Agreed Framework. He worked as a foreign affairs analyst in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs from 1991-1994 focusing on Persian Gulf security issues following Operation Desert Storm, including negotiation for U.S. forces' access and basing in Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia.
Mr. Rasmussen received a B.A. degree with high honors from the College of Social Studies at Wesleyan University and was awarded a Masters in Public and International Affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including an International Affairs Fellowship by the Council on Foreign Relations, and has taught a course on U.S. counterterrorism policy at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service.
The session was part of the ICT's 16th World Summit on Counter-Terrorism: "Unpuzzling Terrorism". Mr. Rasmussen reviewed the threat landscape in the United States: the challenges, the successes, and the weak-points. He claimed the United States is succeeding in regards to intelligence and hard power. However, he noted that given terrorists' ability to adapt to security measures, the U.S. needs to change and evolve its security apparatus as well as to focus on homegrown extremism and radicalization.
Good afternoon. Before I begin, I first want to say thank you to the leadership of the IDC here in Herzliya for inviting me to this year’s World Summit.