Mr. Lyston Lea is a member of the Center for Climate and Security’s Advisory Board. He has over 38 years of professional experience working in the Intelligence Community (IC), where his leadership included resourceful response during the COVID-19 pandemic, serving as the senior level advisor, thought leader and mentor for the Global Maritime Community of Interest, which includes the IC, Federal, State & Local Interagency, International, Industry, Academia, and NGOs. Before retiring from Defense Intelligence Senior Level Federal service in March 2022, he served as the Principal Advisor to the Director of the National Maritime Intelligence-Integration Office (NMIO). In this position he represented the Director of National Intelligence on maritime issues as the unified voice of the Intelligence Community, working to advance maritime intelligence integration, information sharing, and national-level Maritime Domain Awareness. During his tenure he led establishment of the Maritime Security Communications with Industry process, a streamlined approach for US Govt alerts to Industry on maritime security threats. As the IC Senior Representative on multiple forums like the White House Ocean Policy Committee, the Maritime SAFE Act Interagency Working Group, and the Maritime Domain Awareness Executive Steering Committee, he advised on priorities, requirements, and solutions to guide national strategy on a wide range of issues including Polar regions security, Illegal, Unreported, Unregulated Fishing, maritime infrastructure resilience, energy security and climate change.
Prior to NMIO, Mr. Lea served in the Analytic Integrity and Standards Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), working on comprehensive tradecraft evaluation programs to improve information accuracy in support of the 9/11 and Iraq WMD Commissions. Before joining the ODNI, he served in the Defense Intelligence Agency, as a Senior Briefer for the J2’s daily Intelligence Briefing to the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff. He also served as Deputy Office Chief of the Defense Warning Office, overseeing, and directing budget, personnel, and technical activities.
Mr. Lea has been recognized as Chairman of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)’s Intelligence Working Group on NATO Enlargement, where he successfully led the integration of the military intelligence services of Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary. He was also the first US Deputy to the NATO Intelligence Board, in charge of NATO agreed intelligence production, following his service on the Arms Control Intelligence Staff at the Central Intelligence Agency, where he orchestrated US bilateral programs with NATO Allies monitoring conventional arms control treaties in Europe.
Mr. Lea holds a Master of Science in National Security Studies from the National War College, a Master of Arts in Public Administration from Fordham University, and a Bachelor of Arts in History from Washington & Jefferson College. Upon graduation from college, he was commissioned through ROTC as a second lieutenant in the US Army Reserve, where he served on active duty and reserve assignments.