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Feb 10, 2023

Neil Wiley has lead some of the US Intelligence Community’s most important analytical functions. His career in intelligence began as a Naval Intelligence Officer in an operational intelligence center focused on support to critical operational naval missions. He would later serve joint intelligence missions in Europe, would rise to lead all analytical activities at the Defense Intelligence Agency and in DoD Combatant Commands, and would later serve as the Chairman of the famed National Intelligence Council (NIC). Also served as a senior leader at ODNI, including leading the entire intelligence community as the Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence from May 13, 2020 until February 2021.

In this OODAcast we learn some of what made Neil tick, diving into his education, his early career intent, the role of serendipity in helping him transition to the intelligence community, and his approach to leadership and management. We also dive into big issues of optimizing intelligence including ways organizations can help guard against cognitive bias.

Neil provides insights into his approaches to:
– Training analytical methods and understanding which methods should be applied to which situations
– Ways to teach analysts to spot their own cognitive bias and seek to mitigate, and ways to use the benefits of teams to help spot and mitigate analytical flaws
– Ways to avoid deception by adversaries
– Methods that can improve mental models
– The mission of the National Intelligence Council and its key products, including those available to the public
– Ways to find balance between the need to serve policy makers and military leaders without being captured by and influenced in appropriately by them
– The role of the ODNI, what it is and what it should be
– The thesis that the US is about to enter and age of abundance and what this means for the US and the world
– What CEOs need to know about geopolitical risk