Susan Gibson

Susan Gibson is a former Inspector General for the National Reconnaissance Office; she was unanimously confirmed by the Senate for this position in 2016 and served across three Presidential administrations. At the NRO, Susan focused her oversight on NRO’s greatest challenges, to include Intelligence Community privacy compliance, cybersecurity, contested space operations, and personnel management. She also oversaw NRO’s financial statement audit and established the IG data-analytics division to analyze NRO’s financial and contracting data in support of the OIG’s independent oversight mission and its NRO enterprise risk assessment, which was provided annually to Congress and the White House.

While NRO IG, she also chaired the U.S. Council of Inspectors General’s Budget Committee, and served on the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee (PRAC), where she chaired the Identity Fraud Working Group. The CARES Act created the PRAC to oversee $5+ trillion in COVID-19 relief expenditures.

Susan currently serves on the Board of Trustees for Round House Theatre, one of the “Big Six” professional theatres in the D.C. area, where she chairs the Board’s Governance Committee.

Prior to being an IG, Susan was the Principal Deputy General Counsel for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). Susan joined the ODNI in 2005, soon after the agency was formed and had the unique opportunity to help stand up a federal agency “from scratch.” She provided legal advice and counsel for all issues affecting the ODNI and the Intelligence Community, with an emphasis on fiscal law for $50+ billion in annual appropriations, privacy and data integrity, ethics, Congressional relations, major system acquisitions, advanced R&D, IC policy, crisis response, security leaks, and security clearance reform. Susan also recruited and hired a remarkable team of legal professionals to form the ODNI Office of General Counsel, and remains deeply committed to developing and mentoring the next generation of Intelligence Community legal professionals.

Before joining the ODNI, Susan served for nearly 22 years in the Army JAG Corps, retiring as a Colonel. In addition to her legal service, she negotiated international agreements and conducted legal and military training in South Korea, the Philippines, Mongolia, Malaysia, and at sea in the Pacific. As a senior officer, she was often called on to provide advice and support during crises, such as the forced landing of an EP-3 surveillance aircraft on Hainan Island, China; East Timor UN Peacekeeping Operations; the sinking of a Japanese teaching vessel by a US submarine near Oahu; multiple natural disasters throughout the Pacific; and creating a joint task force of D.C.-based criminal investigators and intelligence analysts to investigate possible war crimes after 9-11.

Susan and her husband, Tim Gibson, have two adult daughters and a granddaughter.  They enjoy theatre, hiking, collecting more books than they will ever read, and travelling the world as amateur photographers.

Education & Awards

LLM, National Security Law – University of Virginia School of Law
LLM, Military Law – U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s School, honor graduate
J.D., Seattle University School of Law, magna cum laude, Law Review
B.A., Double Major in Business and Geology, magna cum laude – Monmouth College, Illinois

NACD.DC, National Association of Corporate Directors, Directorship Certification

Presidential Meritorious Rank Award
National Intelligence Superior Service Medal
NRO Medal of Distinguished Performance
Inducted into the Monmouth College Hall of Achievement, the College’s highest honor
Judge Advocate Association Outstanding Career Armed Services Attorney
Military Awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, two Legion of Merit Medals, the Joint Meritorious Service Medal, and three U.S. Army Meritorious Service Medals.