John Brennan served as the "Terrorism Czar," sometimes called "Homeland Security Czar," but with the formal title as Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism in the Obama Administration. Appointed in January 2009, Brennan reported to National Security Adviser James L. Jones. Under President Obama's plan, the homeland security adviser’s office would be eliminated, and the National Security Council would take over those duties. Brennan would be responsible for guarding against natural disasters and terrorism.
John Brennan graduated from Fordham University in 1977 after a year of intensive Arabic and Middle Eastern studies in Cairo. He earned his J.D. from the University of Texas at Austin before joining the Central Intelligence Agency as an intelligence director in 1980. He is a CIA veteran and fluent Arabic speaker.
John Brennan was the CIA deputy executive director from 2001 to 2003. Brennan is known to be a staunch supporter of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Program, and has defended the use of extraordinary rendition, saying it is "an absolutely vital tool." He was previously director of the National Counter-Terrorism Center from 2004 through 2005. Brennan also worked at Analysis Corp, from 2005 to 2008.
During the 2008 Presidential Election, he was an advisor to Obama. Brennan previously served in the administration of George W. Bush, where he had generally used strong means to ensure the safety of Americans, and was an architect of the interrogation techniques criticized by many liberals.