By All Means Available: Memoirs of a Life in Intelligence, Special Operations, and Strategy

Dr. Michael Vickers
Date & Time Jan 29 2024 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM
Location Robertson Hall
Bowl 001
Michael Vickers
Audience Open to the Public

Join the Center for International Security Studies' Policy Speakers team and Dr. Michael Vickers as he talks about his life in the CIA, Special Operations, and the Department of Defense. Dr. Vickers will discuss his memoir, "By All Means Available: Memoirs of a Life in Intelligence, Special Operations, and Strategy," and his perspective on current and future challenges facing American intelligence and national security objectives.

Copies of the book will be available for distribution at the event.


Dr. Vickers served as Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence from 2011 until April 2015, where he led the Defense Intelligence Enterprise and oversaw counterterrorism efforts in multiple countries, playing a major role in the elimination of numerous terrorist leaders, including Osama bin Laden. He also led a comprehensive transformation of defense intelligence.

From 2007 to 2011, Vickers served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations, Low-intensity Conflict, and Interdependent Capabilities, where he helped develop and implement the strategy to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al Qaeda.

He gained extensive operational experience during the first two decades of his career as an Operations Officer with the Central Intelligence Agency and as a Special Forces Officer with the U.S. Army. While at the CIA, he was the principal strategist for the largest and most successful covert action program in the CIA’s history, the paramilitary operation that defeated the Red Army in Afghanistan. He is played by Christopher Denham in the 2007 film Charlie Wilson's War, which immortalized the operation.

Vickers graduated with honors from the University of Alabama with a bachelor’s degree in International Relations, and went on to earn his MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He received his Ph.D. in International Relations and Strategic Studies from the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.

Sponsors: CISS and Alexander Hamilton Society