Chris Costa

Colonel Costa is the Executive Director of the International Spy Museum, and a 34-year veteran of the Department of Defense. Previously, he served 25 years in the United States Army working in counterintelligence, human intelligence and with special operations forces (SOF) in Central America, Europe, and throughout the Middle East. He ran a wide range of intelligence and special operations in Panama, Bosnia, the first and second Iraq wars, and Afghanistan. Costa earned two Bronze stars for sensitive human intelligence work in Afghanistan. Later assigned to the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, he served as the first civilian squadron Deputy Director. In 2013, Costa was inducted into the United States Special Operation’s Commando Hall of Honor for lifetime service to US Special Operations. Most recently, he served as the Special Assistant to the President & Senior Director for Counterterrorism at the National Security Council.

Presentation Topics

Inside the World of Intelligence, Counterintelligence & Counterterrorism

From the pre-Cold War era to the post-9/11 world, Chris has over three decades of experience navigating the intelligence community throughout the Middle East, Central America and Europe. He provides eye-opening observations as he draws upon his time working as a Human Intelligence practitioner overseas (Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq) with Special Operations Forces (SOF). Chris’ career in government culminated as a senior policymaker on key national security issues, allowing audiences to gain a deeper understanding on the importance of intelligence in our global community.

ISIS & Al-Qaeda: Understanding Counterterrorism and Future Threats

Before he was the Executive Director of the International Spy Museum, Chris was Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Counterterrorism and Hostage Affairs at the White House. In this keynote, Chris discusses the key challenges of policymaking, the future trajectory of these threats and what these challenges mean for global security. 

Radicalization and Terrorism 

Having interviewed terrorists and defectors in U.S. custody – and co-authoring some important contributions to terrorism literature – Mr. Costa can offer some perspectives on terrorist motivations, their activation for violence, and an explanation of the radicalization process. 

Leadership: A Lifelong Commitment in Every Profession

Chris’ vast experience in special operations and intelligence in high-performing organizations has provided him with several invaluable leadership lessons. From the world’s most select special operations and military intelligence organizations to the White House, the many roles and responsibilities that Chris has held throughout the past thirty-four years have significantly shaped his outlook on leadership on each and every level.

Chris Costa is available to speak at your event virtually or in-person. Contact our sales team for more information.


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