United States National Security Advisor
|Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs|
|Executive Office of the President|
|Appointer||The President of the United States|
|First holder||Robert Cutler|
|Website||The White House|
The Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, commonly referred to as the National Security Advisor (abbreviated NSA, or sometimes APNSA or ANSA to avoid confusion with the abbreviation of the National Security Agency), is a senior official in the Executive Office of the President who serves as the chief advisor, stationed in the White House, to the President of the United States on national security issues. This person also participates in the meetings of the National Security Council. The National Security Advisor's office is located in the West Wing of the White House. He or she is supported by the National Security Council staff that produces research, briefings, and intelligence for the APNSA to review and present either to the National Security Council or directly to the President.
The Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs (APNSA) is appointed by the President without confirmation by the United States Senate. However, the APNSA is a staff position in the Executive Office of the President and does not have line authority over either the Department of State or the Department of Defense, but is able, as a consequence thereof, to offer advice to the President—unlike the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense who are Senate-confirmed officials with line authority over their departments—independently of the vested interests of the large bureaucracies and clientele of those departments. The influence and role of the National Security Advisor varies from administration to administration and depends heavily on the qualities of the person appointed to the position.
In times of crisis, the National Security Advisor operates from the White House Situation Room, updating the President on the latest events of a crisis.
The National Security Council was created at the start of the Cold War under the National Security Act of 1947 to coordinate defence, foreign affairs, international economic policy, and intelligence; this was part of a large reorganisation that saw the creation of the Department of Defense and Central Intelligence Agency and the independence of the US Air Force. In 1949 it became part of the president's executive office. Robert Cutler became the first National Security Advisor in 1953. The system has remained largely unchanged since then, particularly since Kennedy's time, with powerful National Security Advisors and strong staff but a lower importance given to formal NSC meetings; this continuity persists despite the tendency of each new president to replace the advisor and senior NSC staff.
Henry Kissinger as Nixon's NSA enhanced the importance of the role, controlling the flow of information to the President and meeting him multiple times per day. However, the role has not always been so powerful, with Ronald Reagan choosing less senior and experienced figures, and George W. Bush's first NSA, Condoleezza Rice, less powerful than other administration figures.
List of National Security Advisors
|#||Picture||Name||Term of Office||President(s) served under|
|1||Robert Cutler||March 23, 1953||April 2, 1955||Dwight D. Eisenhower|
|2||Dillon Anderson||April 2, 1955||September 1, 1956|
|3||William H. Jackson||September 1, 1956||January 7, 1957|
|4||Robert Cutler||January 7, 1957||June 24, 1958|
|5||Gordon Gray||June 24, 1958||January 13, 1961|
|6||McGeorge Bundy||January 20, 1961||February 28, 1966||John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson|
|7||Walt W. Rostow||April 1, 1966||January 20, 1969||Lyndon B. Johnson|
|8||Henry Kissinger||January 20, 1969||November 3, 1975||Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford|
|9||Brent Scowcroft||November 3, 1975||January 20, 1977||Gerald Ford|
|10||Zbigniew Brzezinski||January 20, 1977||January 21, 1981||Jimmy Carter|
|11||Richard V. Allen||January 21, 1981||January 4, 1982||Ronald Reagan|
|12||William P. Clark, Jr.||January 4, 1982||October 17, 1983|
|13||Robert McFarlane||October 17, 1983||December 4, 1985|
|14||John Poindexter||December 4, 1985||November 25, 1986|
|15||Frank Carlucci||December 2, 1986||November 23, 1987|
|16||Colin Powell||November 23, 1987||January 20, 1989|
|17||Brent Scowcroft||January 20, 1989||January 20, 1993||George H. W. Bush|
|18||Anthony Lake||January 20, 1993||March 14, 1997||Bill Clinton|
|19||Sandy Berger||March 14, 1997||January 20, 2001|
|20||Condoleezza Rice||January 22, 2001||January 25, 2005||George W. Bush|
|21||Stephen Hadley||January 26, 2005||January 20, 2009|
|22||James Jones||January 20, 2009||October 8, 2010||Barack Obama|
|23||Tom Donilon||October 8, 2010||July 1, 2013|
|24||Susan Rice||July 1, 2013||present|