Fmr. CIA Director John Brennan Speaks at the Drew Forum

February 22, 2019

On Sunday, Feb. 10, Former CIA Director John Brennan came to The Forest as part of the Spring 2019 Drew Forum Lecture series. Brennan, who served as Director of the CIA from 2013 to 2017, is the first speaker of the series for the spring semester, and the third of the school year.



Brennan’s lecture took place in front of a nearly sold-out Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown, NJ. The lecture, which was approximately 45 minutes, touched on a wide range of topics including insights from Brennan’s long career, and future threats to American stability. Following the lecture portion, Brennan took questions from the audience for the remaining hour.


Prior to the lecture, Brennan took part in a students-only meet and greet in the Dorothy Young Center. Following the student event, Brennan sat down with the Acorn for an interview.


As he would later touch on in his forum lecture, Brennan recounted to the Acorn his time at Fordham University. According to Brennan, he did not know where he wanted to go in life until his senior year when he saw a help wanted ad for the CIA in the New York Times.


“I sent in my rather sparse resume at the time, and then had an interview in New York City,” he told the Acorn. “They gave me an application, and at the time I was considering going into Graduate School, and they said ‘if you decide to go to graduate school, then fill this out about six months before you graduate and see what happens.’”


Brennan began work at the CIA in 1980 following his time at the University of Texas, where he mastered in Government and Middle East Studies. He served in a variety of roles at the agency including being the station chief in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia during the 1996 Khobar Tower bombings as well as serving as President Obama’s Chief Homeland Security advisor during Obama’s first term. Obama then nominated Brennan as Director of the CIA for his second term in 2013.


Brennan joined Pulitzer Prize winning author Colson Whitehead and hosts of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski.The Drew Forum series will continue next week when political strategist and CNN commentator Ana Navarro visits The Forest on Feb. 27. The Forum Series will then conclude on April 9, with former Ohio governor John Kasich.


The full transcript of the Acorn’s interview with John Brennan is available online at

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