James E. Steiner

James E. Steiner

Homeland Security Program Director
Public Administration & Policy
International Affairs
Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy
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313A Milne Hall
James E. Steiner

Specialization: Intelligence Studies

Dr. Steiner is a Public Service Professor at the State University of New York at Albany’s Rockefeller College where he teaches graduate-level courses in the craft of intelligence, with emphasis on intelligence analysis for homeland security. From 2006 until 2009 he was Intelligence Advisor to the Director of New York State’s Office of Homeland Security and a consultant to the Chief Intelligence Officer in the Department of Homeland Security.  In his New York State position, he was instrumental in creating a vision for using intelligence to support not only law enforcement counterterrorism efforts, but also to provide situational awareness for State-level executives and especially to improve the resiliency of critical infrastructure through geospatial analysis of suspicious activity reports. He also was a senior member of the working group that wrote New York’s new Homeland Security Strategy. At the national level, as a senior advisor to the Undersecretary for Intelligence at DHS, he was a strong proponent for intelligence support to State and local governments, especially through massive expansion of classified communications and intelligence dissemination to fusion centers throughout the country.  Dr. Steiner holds a TS/SCI clearance.  

Dr. Steiner served in the CIA from 1972 to 2005. For the first twenty years, he focused on Soviet defense and economic issues.  Initially, he analyzed Soviet defense programs and resources in the Office of Strategic Research.  In 1980, Dr. Steiner began his management career as Chief of the Defense Economics Branch.  Later, he developed and managed the Growth and Forecasting Branch in the Office of Soviet Analysis' Econometric Analysis Division.  In 1986, he returned to Soviet defense issues, serving first as Chief of the Defense Management Branch, then as Deputy Chief and Chief of the Defense Programs Division from 1990 to 1993.  Dr. Steiner was promoted to the Senior Intelligence Service in 1992.  

In March 1993, Dr. Steiner moved to the Department of State as Special Advisor to the Ambassador at Large for Russia and the former Soviet States, where he provided intelligence support and was the Ambassador's Deputy for defense conversion and crime and corruption.  He served at the Deputy Assistant Secretary level with regional responsibility for Central Asia.  In 1994, Dr. Steiner's duties were expanded to include providing daily intelligence briefings and other focused support to the Deputy Secretary of State.

In February 1996, Dr. Steiner returned to CIA as Deputy Director for European Analysis, including Bosnia.  In March 1997, he was appointed Special Advisor to the DCI and Chief of the DCI's Analytic Support Team.  Dr. Steiner created this new group to provide tailored support to the DCI and the DDCI in their substantive foreign policy interaction with senior USG and foreign officials.  In August 1997, Dr. Steiner was appointed CIA’s Executive Secretary, continuing to serve as the Chief of the DCI's Analytic Support Team.

 From October 1998 to October 2000, Jim served as Deputy Director for Crime and Narcotics.  In this capacity, he led the Intelligence Community's analytic program and helped the Director manage the CIA's operational programs aimed at countering illegal drug production and interdicting drug flows to the US.  He was also the first co-chair of the joint intelligence-law enforcement Linchpin Committee that prioritizes international organized crime targets.

From October 2000 to September 2002, Jim served as the Director of the Office of Transnational Issues.  Analysts in this office bring unparalleled expertise to critical issues of national security, including global energy and economic security, corruption, illicit migration, illicit financial activity, foreign denial and deception programs, societal and humanitarian conflicts, and the medical and psychiatric analysis of foreign leaders.  Jim’s Office also included the Strategic Assessment Group, a collection of senior analysts and methodologists who focus their multidisciplinary capabilities on longer-term issues, including the future of warfare, globalization, terrorism, and demographics.

From September 2002 to September 2005 Jim served as the CIA Officer-in-Residence at Georgetown University.  He taught undergraduate and graduate courses on intelligence, mentored students on careers in intelligence, developed and managed seminars and workshops, and lectured beyond the university on intelligence issues.  Jim was awarded the Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal when he retired from the CIA in December, 2005. Dr. Steiner taught intelligence analysis at the FBI Academy for six months before moving to Albany, NY in mid-2006. 

Dr. Steiner attended Georgetown University from 1964-1968 earning a BS Foreign Service with a concentration in International Economics.  He received an MA in Economics in 1969 and a PhD in Economics in 1977.  Dr. Steiner returned to Georgetown in 1985-1986 as a Fellow in Foreign Service. Following college, Jim spent two years as a naval intelligence officer at J-2, USSOUTHCOM, and Panama Canal Zone.