Mr. Alex Butterfield is currently serving as an Adjunct Professor of Political Science at the University of British Columbia. From 2012 to 2018, he was a member of the Defense Intelligence Agency Senior Executive Service with duties as Senior Defense Intelligence Advisor to U.S. Pacific Command. In that capacity, he oversaw all intelligence analyses produced by the PACOM Intelligence Enterprise. He was PACOM’s leading advisor to senior national and international government officials on security issues that impact the Asia Pacific region. He had special responsibilities for China and sat on the Director of National Intelligence’s China Strategy Board, the China National Security Committee, and the Northeast Asia Crisis Strategy Board.
Prior to that assignment, Mr. Butterfield was a career naval intelligence officer, serving most recently as Senior U.S. Defense Official, Defense Attaché, and Naval Attaché in Hong Kong and Macau. Before that, he was Commander of the Office of Naval Intelligence, where he managed worldwide operations of the 4,000 men and women of the nation’s oldest intelligence agency. During his naval career, Mr. Butterfield directed naval intelligence operations in two different theaters. Before assuming command of ONI, he was Deputy Chief of Staff and Director for Intelligence for the Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, where he served concurrently as Director for Intelligence for the U.S. Pacific Command’s standing major contingencies Joint Task Force. He also served as Assistant Chief of Staff and Director for Intelligence for U.S. Naval Forces Central Command and U.S. Fifth Fleet. In that assignment, Mr. Butterfield led all naval intelligence forces in the Middle East during the initial combat campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Mr. Butterfield is a widely recognized writer, public speaker, and panelist on national security issues. He is a 2003-2004 National Security Fellow of Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He graduated with Highest Distinction from the U.S. Naval War College, where he also earned a Master’s Degree in National Security Affairs. He holds Bachelor’s Degrees in Biology and Psychology from Duke University. Mr. Butterfield earned the National Military Intelligence Association’s Vice Admiral Rufus Taylor Award for Intelligence Leadership in 2003 after leading the planning and preparation of over 1,000 intelligence personnel to execute combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. His decorations include the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Distinguished Civilian Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, three Legions of Merit, and the Bronze Star.