Vice Admiral (Ret.) Mike LeFever of the U.S. Navy is the former Director of Strategic Operational Planning at the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC). Mike heads up Concentric, one of the world’s most influential privately held security firms and is a co-author of the best selling book End Game First: A Leadership Strategy for Navigating Crisis and Business.

In the book, he details how the national security industry has changed rapidly over the past few decades, writing “…men with guns can’t protect you from a virus, an online threat, or crypto-driven cyber extortion.”

This former NCTC leader crashes the podcast to spill the tea on leadership, security, how high-profile companies can survive a cyber-attack, and shares epic tales from the humanitarian battlefield!

Mike retired from the U.S. Navy after an impressive 38-year career. He held the prestigious position of Director of Strategic Operational Planning at the National Counterterrorism Center, under the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Previously, he commanded the Office of Defense Representative and the Joint Task Force in Pakistan, overseeing all U.S. Armed Forces in the region from 2008 to 2011. Throughout his career, Mike excelled in leadership roles at various levels in the Navy and Joint operations. His expertise spans disaster relief, warfare operations, and counterterrorism efforts. Mike is known for his exceptional leadership in diverse international settings, where he achieved numerous milestones in safeguarding the national security of the U.S.

One of Mike’s biggest leadership lessons was in Pakistan. An earthquake occurred in October 2005 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, a territory under Pakistan. Mike was tasked with managing the humanitarian efforts, where there were over 80,000 casualties and millions displaced.

Currently, he serves as the CEO of Concentric, a risk consultancy specializing in strategic security and intelligence services. He has also played pivotal roles in various U.S. delegations collaborating with international partners on shared national security concerns. Additionally, he has contributed as a senior mentor for the McChrystal Group and the National Defense University, participating in programs like “Capstone,” “Keystone,” the Joint Warfighting Course, and exercises supporting Joint Task Forces.

As threats change, so do we. So, remain vigilant, no matter how you support U.S. national security or what industry you work in. The threats are out there.


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Katie Helbling is a marketing fanatic that enjoys anything digital, communications, promotions & events. She has 10+ years in the DoD supporting multiple contractors with recruitment strategy, staffing augmentation, marketing, & communications. Favorite type of beer: IPA. Fave hike: the Grouse Grind, Vancouver, BC. Fave social platform: ClearanceJobs! 🇺🇸