For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
June 27, 2002
Statement by the Press Secretary
General Wayne A. Downing, U.S. Army (Ret.), has resigned his position as Deputy Assistant to the President, National Director and Deputy National Security Advisor for Combating Terrorism. Coming out of retirement, General Downing joined the National Security Council staff in October,2001 with a mandate to organize and staff the NSC's Office of Combating Terrorism and the Office of Homeland Security's Intelligence and Detection Directorate following the attacks of September 11.
In this position, General Downing coordinated the military, diplomatic, law enforcement, intelligence, financial, and strategic information activities designed to deter, disrupt, and destroy terrorists and those who harbor, protect, or support them. He also worked with the Office of Homeland Security to ensure that our national counterterrorism efforts, domestic and international, are seamless.
General Downing will be replaced by General John A. Gordon, USAF (Ret.). General Gordon joins the National Security Council staff from the Department of Energy where he served as the Under Secretary for Nuclear Security and Administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA).
Prior to assuming his post at the Department of Energy, General Gordon served as Deputy Director of Central Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency from October 1997 until June 2000. He served as the Associate Director of Central Intelligence for Military Support at the Central Intelligence Agency from September 1996 until October 1997.
General Gordon previously served on the National Security Council staff from 1989 until 1993, as a Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and Senior Director for Defense Policy and Arms Control. The General then became a senior member of the Secretary of Defense's staff and later the Director of Operations, Air Force Space Command, responsible for overseeing and developing policy and guidance for the command's operational missions.
The Administration has valued General Downing's leadership and his legacy of a highly effective Office of Combating Terrorism and an Intelligence and Detection Directorate manned by seasoned professionals supported by processes and structures which will serve our country well into the future. We look forward to General Gordon's leadership in building on this legacy to enhance further the security of our nation.