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Deputy Secretary John K. Tien

Guest Speaker

    Professional affiliation

    Deputy Secretary, Department of Homeland Security

    Full Biography

    John Tien was sworn in as Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security by Secretary Mayorkas on June 24, 2021. Tien is the first Asian American to be confirmed as the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security.

    Prior to becoming the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, Tien spent ten years serving in senior executive roles in the critical infrastructure financial services sector as a managing director at Citigroup. As a chief operating officer, he provided customer service support to tens of millions of customers to include safeguarding their accounts against fraud, data breaches, and other cyber threats.

    Tien previously served in the Obama Administration as the National Security Council Senior Director for Afghanistan and Pakistan from 2009-2011, the Bush Administration as the National Security Council Director for Iraq from 2008-2009, and the Clinton Administration as a White House Fellow in the Office of the United States Trade Representative from 1998-1999.

    Tien began his career of public service at the United States Military Academy at West Point where he was the first Asian American to ever serve as the First Captain and Brigade Commander, West Point’s top ranked cadet position. For the next 24 years, he served as a U.S. Army combat arms officer, retiring in 2011 at the rank of Colonel. He is a veteran of three combat tours to include serving as the Task Force 2-37 Armor Battalion Commander in Operation Iraqi Freedom. He and his unit were responsible for securing and stabilizing the Iraqi cities of Tal Afar and Ramadi with an emphasis on counterinsurgency operations, community partnership, creating rule of law institutions, and the training of thousands of Iraqi police officers. His military decorations include the Bronze Star Medal with one oak leaf cluster, the Combat Action Badge, and the Valorous Unit Award.

    Tien holds a Bachelor of Science from West Point and a Master of Arts from Oxford University where he was a Rhodes Scholar, and was also a National Security Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School.