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Thomas Drake is a former senior executive with the National Security Agency, a United States Air Force and Navy veteran, CIA intelligence analyst, computer software expert and whistleblower. While at NSA, he blew the whistle on multi-billion dollar programmatic fraud, waste and abuse; the critical loss and coverup of 9/11 intelligence; government wrongdoing; and a dragnet electronic mass surveillance and data mining program conducted on a vast scale by the NSA (with the approval of the White House) after 9/11. Mr. Drake argued that this program violated and subverted the Constitution as well as individual sovereignty and privacy, while weakening national security and fundamentally eroding our civil liberties. In April 2010 he was charged by the US Department of Justice with a 10 felony count Espionage Act indictment facing 35 years in prison and declared an enemy of the state. All 10 original charges were dropped in July 2011 after Mr. Drake pled to a single misdemeanor count of exceeding the authorized use of a government computer with no fine or prison time.  He is the 2011 recipient of the Ridenhour Truth Telling Prize, and with Jesselyn Radack the co-recipient of the 2011 Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence Award and the 2012 Hugh M. Hefner 1st Amendment Award.

He was also a visiting professor of strategic leadership and information strategies at the National Defense University with the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. Previous to NSA, he was a principal in a couple of dot coms. He has 12 years of industry experience in change leadership, senior management, organizational leadership and development, quality assurance, software and systems engineering (having analyzed over 150 million lines of code), learning strategies, acquisition and program management, operations and technology life-cycle integration as a contractor and consultant with both government and commercial clients including Fortune 500 and Fortune 50 companies. He was at Booz | Allen | Hamilton as a management, strategy and technology consultant and software quality engineer from 1991-1998.

He served in the military for some 14 years as an active duty US Air Force aircrew member performing cryptologic linguist duties on the RC-135 airborne reconnaissance platform and as a Mission Crew Supervisor on the EC-130H electronic warfare mission during the latter years of the Cold War. He also served in the US Navy as a reserve commissioned all-source intelligence officer assigned to the National Military Joint Intelligence Center at the Pentagon serving on the ELINT, Terrorism, and Middle East/North Africa desks in the 1990s. He also had a short stint as an imagery intelligence analyst at the CIA in the late 80s.

Mr. Drake is the founder and senior leader of Knowpari Systems LLC, a boutique leadership development and executive consulting firm formed in 2008 and focused on business intelligence, IT-corporate governance, risk management, operations analysis, systems thinking, strategic advising and deep learning through people, process and technology – expanding capacity, increasing performance and enhancing social and relational well-being for individuals, teams, and organizations.

His outreach and speaking expertise center on delivering dynamic, interactive and compelling content in the areas of strategic leadership, international relations, contemporary international problems, professional ethics, executive management, business intelligence and decision support systems, resource strategy, complex systems (social and technical), human relations, dynamics of the information and knowledge age, information management, organizational sustainability, executive leadership, 21st Century issues, governance and decision-making, the Constitution and civil liberties as well as whistleblowing.

His particular area of expertise is the strategic and global perspective while placing events, people, trends, and movements in the larger context and finding the meaning and the connections and making sense of them such that one can take the practical action necessary to execute the mission and the business in challenging times, under adverse conditions and with constant uncertainty. He has also focused on a key ‘emergent’ strategically competitive best practice of relationship leadership involving dynamically evolving social ecology and social network systems. This highly innovative approach involves real-time learning and feedback creating the very conditions for both individual and organizational well-being and accomplishment while also achieving sustainable results in the marketplace and for social activism and change.

He now writes, speaks and teaches around the world on whistleblowing, Constitutional rights, civil liberties, secrecy, surveillance and abusive corporate and government power. He has dedicated himself to defending life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.


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