Sandy Winnefeld, Chair, President’s Intelligence Advisory Board  

Sandy Winnefeld

Chair, President’s Intelligence Advisory Board 

James Alexander Winnefeld, Jr., was born in Coronado, California, in 1956. He followed his family’s tradition of serving in the U.S. Navy after earning a bachelor of science in aerospace engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology through NROTC.

After his designation as a naval aviator, he served on two fighter squadrons and then as an instructor at the Navy Fighter Weapons School (Top Gun). He also graduated from the U.S. Naval War College with the highest distinction.

He commanded squadrons, ships, and then a carrier strike group during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. He concurrently served as commander of the U.S. Sixth Fleet, Allied Joint Command Lisbon, and Striking and Support Forces NATO.

Winnefeld served in the office of the Vice Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff as well as executive assistant to the Vice Chief of Naval Operations. He retired as an admiral from the U.S. Navy and became a professor at Georgia Tech.

President Joe Biden appointed him chair of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board in May 2022.

In the News…

Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act allows the government to collect digital communications of foreigners located outside the country. That section of the law will expire at the end of the year. President Biden’s intelligence advisory board is urging Congress to reauthorize Section 702 before it expires. 

The board’s report stated, “If Congress fails to reauthorize Section 702, history may judge the lapse of Section 702 authorities as one of the worst intelligence failures of our time.” 

The board reported problems with the use of this national security tool, including complacency, a lack of proper procedures, and a high volume of activity, all of which led to its “inappropriate use” by the FBI as they searched for information on people within the United States. 

Some in Congress have expressed concerns over “compliance errors” and what some perceive as political bias within intelligence agencies. The board said there is no proof of willful misuse of surveillance power for political purposes by the FBI. 

Nevertheless, the board suggested recommendations that include putting a standard in place that incorporates a “two-person integrity check” when seeking information about a U.S. citizen. FBI Director Christopher Wray reported some changes are already in place. 

Contact this Leader…

Did you pray for Chair Winnefeld today? You can let him know at:

The Honorable Sandy Winnefeld 
President’s Intelligence Advisory Board 
The White House 
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW 
Washington, DC 20500 


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