John Brennan, FCRH ’77, the Obama administration’s deputy national security adviser for counterterrorism and homeland security, will deliver Fordham’s 167th commencement speech on May 19.

Newly-elevated Timothy Cardinal Dolan, archbishop of New York, will be the principal celebrant and homilist at the Fordham College at Rose Hill Class of 2012’s Baccalaureate Mass, to be held May 18 in the Rose Hill Gymnasium, the Office of the President announced.

John Brennan, FCRH ’77
John Brennan, FCRH ’77

Brennan received his appointment in 2009, following a career that included 25 years in the Central Intelligence Agency, with a four-year stint as Middle East station chief in Saudi Arabia. In his role he deals with homeland security issues and works with the federal government’s intelligence agencies and military brass on counterterrorism efforts around the globe.

In 2004, he was named director of the federal government’s National Counterterrorism Center, which was established that year to better coordinate intelligence from the myriad agencies collecting data around the world. He left government service briefly in 2005 to become CEO of Analysis Corp., a private firm which contracts with government agencies on security and intelligence issues.

The son of Irish immigrants, Brennan was raised in North Bergen, N.J., and graduated from St. Joseph’s High School in West New York. He enrolled at Fordham as a commuter student, soon becoming enthralled with the Middle East through the lectures of John Entelis, Ph.D., professor of political science and director of Fordham’s Middle East Studies Program.

While a Fordham student, Brennan traveled to Indonesia to work at the U.S. Embassy and to research the politics of oil. He also attended the American University in Cairo, where he studied Arabic.

Pope Benedict XVI appointed Cardinal Dolan to the College of Cardinals in January 2012. The Cardinal was elevated in the Consistory of February 18, 2012. Cardinal Dolan was named Archbishop of New York by the Pope in February 2009, and was installed as archbishop in April of that year. In November 2010, Cardinal Dolan was elected president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. He succeeded Cardinal Francis George of Chicago in the position. Cardinal Dolan had served as Archbishop of Milwaukee since he was named by Pope John Paul II in June 2002.

Cardinal Dolan was ordained to the priesthood in 1976. The Cardinal has served as secretary to the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington, D.C.; as vice rector, director of spiritual formation and professor of Church history at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary; and as rector of the Pontifical North American College in Rome where he served until June 2001. While in Rome, he also served as a visiting professor of Church history at the Pontifical Gregorian University and as a faculty member in the Department of Ecumenical Theology at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas.