John R. Ballard has come from the United States Merchant Marine Academy to lead National Intelligence University as the institution’s new president.
As the Intelligence Community’s (IC) sole accredited, federal degree granting institution, NIU has educated thousands of national security professionals, including many IC leaders.
Director of National Intelligence Avril D. Haines said that she appointed Ballard president of NIU on July 31, 2023. Ballard was selected following an extensive nationwide search undertaken by NIU’s Board of Visitors.
“Dr. Ballard joins NIU from the United States Merchant Marine Academy where he was the Academic Dean and Provost, serving in that role since September 2018,” Haines said in a statement. “Dr. Ballard is broadly recognized as a leader of the highest integrity, who has long worked on issues fundamental to higher education, leadership, and national security, with previous posts at the Joint Forces Staff College, New Zealand’s Massey University, the Naval War College, the National War College, and the National Defense College in the United Arab Emirates where he was the founding Dean. Needless to say, we are thrilled that Dr. Ballard will join us in Bethesda.”
Late last year, NIU President Dr. J. Scott Cameron announced his intention to the Director of National Intelligence and NIU’s Board of Visitors to step down as president in the summer of 2023. Appointed in 2017, Cameron led NIU through the process of reaffirming its accreditation in 2019 as well as NIU’s transition from the Defense Intelligence Agency to ODNI in 2021.
The NIU Board of Visitors, in close collaboration with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, undertook a nationwide presidential search process seeking a broad range of diverse candidates from academia, industry, and government.
“Of course, leadership transitions bring mixed emotions, as we enthusiastically welcome Dr. Ballard and express our heartfelt gratitude to Dr. J. Scott Cameron for his six years of exceptional leadership,” Haines said. “It is fitting that this handoff take place after the recent 60th graduation and anniversary celebrations that Dr. Cameron hosted, capping his tenure of transformational leadership for NIU, including its transition from the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI).”
“Thank you to Dr. Cameron, an ODNI plankholder, for his enduring exceptional service and leadership at NIU and the IC, and welcome to Dr. Ballard, who no doubt will benefit from Dr. Cameron’s lasting impact.”