Executive Director NCTC

Executive Director, National Counterterrorism Center

Clare Lankins NCTC

Clare Linkins

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Clare Linkins was named Executive Director of NCTC in April 2020. Prior to this role, Ms. Linkins served as the Director for Strategic Operational Planning at NCTC and was the first civilian senior executive to hold the position. In this role, she was responsible for overseeing NCTC’s strategic planning, assessment, and mission management efforts across the full spectrum of counterterrorism issues. While serving in DSOP, she established the team responsible for leading the interagency process to draft and coordinate the 2018 U.S. National Strategy for Counterterrorism.


Before joining DSOP, Ms. Linkins spent 10 years in a variety of analytic and leadership roles in the Center’s Directorate of Intelligence. From 2015 to 2017, she served as the Chief of the Tactics and Technology Group, leading NCTC’s analytic efforts across a broad range of issues, including terrorist activity in the cyber domain; terrorist tactics and use of emerging technologies; and threats to transportation and infrastructure.


Prior to NCTC, Ms. Linkins worked in the corporate sector and academia. She led projects for U.S. Government clients focused on technology trends and emerging issues with the potential to affect global security. At Georgetown University, she worked in the School of Foreign Service, managing outreach and research activities focused on the Islamic world. She also served as a senior research manager for a company advising Fortune 1000 companies on business best practices.


Ms. Linkins holds a Master of Arts in Security Studies from Georgetown University and a Bachelor of Arts in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia. She also studied Politics, Philosophy, and Economics at Oxford University in England