Mr. Lyston Lea serves as the Principal Advisor to the Director of the National Maritime Intelligence-Integration Office (NMIO), appointed to the Defense Intelligence Senior Level service in 2014. NMIO is the National Intelligence Manager for Maritime and serves the Director of National Intelligence on maritime issues as the unified maritime voice of the United States Intelligence Community (IC). Bringing over 37 years of experience in the IC, Mr. Lea works to advance maritime intelligence integration, information sharing, and national-level Maritime Domain Awareness.
Mr. Lea's recent operational leadership includes 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 senior executives in the IC, Federal, State & Local Interagency, International, Industry, Academia and NGOs. As the IC Senior Representative, he advises on priorities, requirements, and solutions to guide national strategies aimed to promote maritime Polar investment, more robust maritime cyber security, to protect critical US ports and infrastructure, and to advocate for national security interests in climate resiliency. Examples of his responsibilities to coordinate key IC research and technology initiatives include the Maritime Domain Awareness Executive Steering Committee, the White House Ocean Policy Committee, and the Maritime SAFE Act Interagency Working Group, where he guides US measures to counter Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing and lead the Maritime Intelligence Coordination Sub-Working Group to synchronize IC resources dedicated to countering global IUU Fishing.
Prior to NMIO, he served in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), working in the Analytic Integrity and Standards Office on comprehensive tradecraft evaluation programs to improve the information accuracy, in support of reforms following the 9/11 Commission and Iraq WMD Commission.
Before joining the ODNI, Mr. Lea 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, where he orchestrated US bilateral programs with NATO Allies monitoring conventional arms control treaties.
Mr. Lea earned a Master of Science degree in National Security Studies from the National War College, a Master of Arts degree in Public Administration from Fordham University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Washington & Jefferson College. He is also a graduate of the Defense Leadership and Management Program, and the Leading the Intelligence Community course. Upon graduation from college, he was commissioned through ROTC as a second lieutenant in the US Army Reserve. Mr. Lea has numerous personal and unit awards, which are all a tribute to the civilians, Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen he has served with in his career.