National Counterterrorism Center


National Counterterrorism Center

Christine Abizaid

Christine Abizaid


Christine “Christy” Abizaid was sworn in as the Director of the National Counterterrorism Center on June 29, 2021. She is the eighth Senate-confirmed Director and the first woman to lead the United States’ counterterrorism enterprise.


Possessing 14 years of national security experience, Abizaid has served in key leadership positions. During the Obama Administration, Christy served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Central Asia.


Prior to joining the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Abizaid served on the National Security Council Staff as both Director for Counterterrorism and Senior Policy Advisor to the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism. She also served for seven years with the Defense Intelligence Agency’s (DIA) Joint Intelligence Task Force Combating Terrorism as the Senior Intelligence Analyst in the Afghanistan-Pakistan Division and the Iraq/Middle East Division. During this time she deployed several times throughout the Middle East, including a tour as the senior DIA counterterrorism representative in Iraq.


Abizaid most recently served as an executive at Dell Technologies in its Global Operations organization, where she led supply chain assurance initiatives.


A decorated intelligence officer, Abizaid has received the Office of the Director of National Intelligence Award, the National Military Intelligence Association John T. Hughes Award, and the DIA Meritorious Civilian Service Award. Abizaid holds a B.A. in psychology from the University of California, San Diego, and an M.A. in international policy studies from Stanford University.


Any suspected criminal or terrorist activity should be reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

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Mailing Address

National Counterterrorism Center
Washington, DC 20511


Stephen Vanech NCTC

Steve Vanech

Mr. Vanech was selected as the NCTC Deputy Director in November 2020.


Mr. Vanech has 15 years of experience across the counterterrorism enterprise having served in multiple positions at NCTC including Acting Director until July 2021, the Director of Intelligence, as well as a joint duty assignment at the National Security Agency as the Deputy Chief, Office of Counterterrorism. He has been responsible for providing direction and oversight for intelligence analysis, personnel, resources, and domestic partnerships, as well as representing NCTC with Congress, foreign liaison, and policymaking fora.


Mr. Vanech is an experienced intelligence analyst and prior to joining NCTC, he spent several years with the Defense Intelligence Agency; Armed Forces Medical Intelligence Center (now NCMI); and Biotechnology Industry. He is a graduate of Northeastern University and Boston University.

Abby Johnson

Abby Johnson


Abby Johnson was named the Executive Director of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) in January 2021.


She has been with the Center since its inception in 2004, starting in the original Terrorist Identities Group and most recently served as the Assistant Director of NCTC’s Directorate of Identity Intelligence.


As the leader of the Directorate of Identity Intelligence - she managed mission elements responsible for the U.S. Government’s consolidated terrorist identities knowledge database and for NCTC’s screening and vetting mission.


Ms. Johnson has more than twenty years of experience working in the Intelligence Community and is a subject matter expert in U.S. government identities intelligence, watchlisting, and screening activities. She has served in various management, policy and strategy roles at NCTC including Chief of NCTC’s Homeland, Countering Violent Extremism, and Cyber Group; Senior Coordinator for Foreign Terrorist Fighter efforts; and in multiple roles as an Identities Intelligence Manger and Analyst.


She also served joint duty assignments at the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Terrorist Screening Center as the Deputy Director for Intelligence and Mission Development, and at the National Security Council’s Transborder Security Directorate as the Director for Identity Management and Biometrics Policy.


Ms. Johnson has received two NCTC Director’s awards, an NSC Service Medallion, and an ODNI Leadership and Service Award. She has a B.S. in Biology with a minor in Chemistry from Radford University in Virginia.