IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Gen. Barry R. McCaffrey, USA (Ret.)

MSNBC Military analyst
/ Source:

General Barry R. McCaffrey is President of his own consulting firm based in Arlington, Virginia ().  He serves as a national security and terrorism analyst for NBC News.  The Washington Speakers Bureau ( exclusively represents his speeches.

General McCaffrey is also an Adjunct Professor of International Affairs at the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY.   From January 2001 to May 2005, General McCaffrey served as the Bradley Distinguished Professor of International Security Studies. 

General McCaffrey graduated from Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.  He holds a Master of Arts degree in civil government from American University.  He attended the Harvard University National Security Program as well as the Business School Executive Education Program. 

In October 2004, General McCaffrey was elected by the Board of Directors of HNTB Corporation ( to serve as the Board Chairman of a newly formed subordinate company, HNTB Federal Services.  In January 2008, General McCaffrey was elected to the HNTB Companies Board of Directors. HNTB is a preeminent U.S. engineering and architectural design firm with net revenue of $500 million and 3000 + employees. He also serves as a consultant to the science and technology enterprise Battelle Memorial Institute through February 2011.

He has been elected to: CRC Health Corporation, Phoenix House Foundation and the Atlantic Council of the United States.  He is also: a member of the Council on Foreign Relations; an Associate of the Inter-American Dialogue; a Principal for the Council on Excellence in Government; a member of the CSIS U.S.-Mexico Binational Council; Chairman of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Education Center Advisory Board; a Senior Executive Associate for Army Aviation Association of America and is a member of the Board of Advisors of the National Infantry Foundation.  General McCaffrey also participates in US Army Fires Center - Senior Field Artillery Advisory Council, Fort Sill, Kansas.

General McCaffrey stepped down as the Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) in January 2001.  He was confirmed to the position by unanimous vote of the U.S. Senate in February 1996 and served as a member of the President’s Cabinet and the National Security Council for drug-related issues.  As ONDCP Director, he coordinated the $19 billion federal drug control budget and developed the U.S. National Drug Control Strategy.

General McCaffrey is active in national security affairs.  He co-chaired the Atlantic Council of the United States NATO Counterterrorism Working Group, leading a delegation to Moscow, Mons, Brussels and Warsaw.  In 2004 he addressed the “Security of the Americas Conference” in Mexico City and met with senior officials of the Mexican Government.  In April 2004, General McCaffrey helped release the CSIS Bi-national Commission Reports on Migration and Border Security.  In February 2002, General McCaffrey visited Cuba and participated in a small group session with Fidel and Raul Castro discussing U.S.-Cuba policies.  His article on Cuba can be found at  General McCaffrey periodically conducts political-military evaluations of Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia.  His After Action Reports on all these trips are available at

Among the honors he has received are: Health and Human Services Lifetime Achievement Award For Extraordinary Achievement in the Field of Substance Abuse Prevention (2004); recognized as one of the 500 Most Influential People in American Foreign Policy by World Affairs Councils of America (2004); the Department of State’s Superior Honor Award for the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks; The Central Intelligence Agency Great Seal Medallion; the United States Coast Guard Distinguished Public Service Award; the NAACP Roy Wilkins Renown Service Award; the Norman E. Zinberg Award of the Harvard Medical School; The Federal Law Enforcement Foundation’s National Service Award; The Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America Lifetime Achievement Award; and decorations from France, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Peru, and Venezuela.  In 2007 he was given the National Leadership Award by the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America.  The Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) awarded General McCaffrey their “Golden Eagle” recognition in 2007.  General McCaffrey was inducted into the US Army Ranger Hall of Fame in 2007 at the US Army Infantry Center, Ft. Benning, Georgia. 

Prior to confirmation as the National Drug Policy Director, General McCaffrey served as the Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Armed Forces Southern Command coordinating national security operations in Latin America.  During his military career, he served overseas for thirteen years and completed four combat tours.  He commanded the 24th Infantry Division (Mech) during the Desert Storm 400-kilometer left hook attack into Iraq.  At retirement from active duty, he was the most highly decorated four-star general in the U.S. Army.  He twice received the Distinguished Service Cross, the nation’s second highest medal for valor.  He was also awarded two Silver Stars and received three Purple Heart medals for wounds sustained in combat.  General McCaffrey served as the assistant to General Colin Powell and supported the Chairman as the JCS advisor to the Secretary of State and the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.