During his distinguished 38-year career in the U.S. Army, and now, at Auburn University, Lieutenant General Ronald L. Burgess, Jr. (Ret.) serves as a driving force in the U.S. Intelligence Community by providing exceptional leadership and broad strategic vision that contributes to safeguarding U.S. national security interests. He has consistently guided outcomes that have strengthened our national and military intelligence capabilities and has been instrumental in transforming defense intelligence into a cooperative enterprise to better serve national policymakers, Combatant Commanders, and the warfighter in the field.
Commissioned in Military Intelligence through the Auburn University ROTC Program in 1974, Burgess earned a Master of Science degree in Education from the University of Southern California in 1980, and a Master of Military Arts and Science from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in 1986. His military education includes the Armor Officer Basic Course, Military Intelligence Officers Advanced Course, Command and General Staff College, Advanced Military Studies Program, and Air War College.
Burgess held a variety of key staff and command positions throughout his 38 year military career. General officer assignments include Director oflntelligence, J2, U.S. Southern Command; Director oflntelligence, J2, Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Customer Outcomes transitioning to Director of the Intelligence Staff in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. He was dual-hatted twice as the Acting Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence. His final military assignment was as the 17th Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency.
As head ofthe Defense Intelligence Agency and a former Acting Principal Deputy Director ofNationallntelligence, Burgess served as a key player within the national security arena, called upon by the President, the Secretary of Defense, the Director of National Intelligence, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Congressional leaders for his opinions, advice and expertise. His leadership skills were used to focus the Defense Intelligence Agency on the greatest challenges confronting the United States including Afghanistan-Pakistan, Iraq, transnational terrorism, and preventing strategic surprise elsewhere around the globe.
Burgess’ personal military awards and decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal (One Oak Leaf Cluster), Defense Superior Service Medal (Two Oak Leaf Clusters), Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal (Four Oak Leaf Clusters,) Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, NATO Medal- former Republic of Yugoslavia, Parachutist Badge, Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge and Army Staff Identification Badge. During his career he was recognized with awards by the governments of Colombia and Bolivia. Additionally, he was presented with the Order of the Star of Romania by the President of Romania and was inducted in the National Order of the Legion of Honor by the President of France. He was recently identified as a recipient of a 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Auburn University Alumni Association.
Throughout his career, Burgess has been recognized for his contributions to the U.S. National Intelligence Community·. His comprehensive knowledge of defense intelligence organization and information systems, and his leadership, proactive coordination, and attentive follow-through contributed to the success of numerous missions of national significance. As a result of his leadership, the cornerstone Executive Order 12333, which governs all intelligence activities, was revised; critical Intelligence Community managerial operations were overhauled; and innovative human capital practices were pioneered.
In December of 2012, LTG Burgess joined Auburn University as Senior Counsel for National Security Programs, Cyber Programs and Military Affairs. In this capacity he works across the university to interface and coordinate with federal, state and commercial entities on all matters related to these areas.