Christopher Carney

Senior Fellow - Program on National Security

Research Areas:

Homeland Security, intelligence, terrorism, counterterrorism

The Honorable Christopher “Chris” Carney is a Senior Fellow in the Foreign Policy Research Institute’s Program on National Security. Most recently he served as a member of the nine-person Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission, and was a Member of the United States Congress from 2007-2011 representing Pennsylvania’s 10th congressional district. As a member of the Homeland Security Committee he was appointed as the Chairman of the Management, Investigations, and Oversight Subcommittee as a freshman legislator. In that capacity he reviewed DHS operations, plans, and its future direction. In particular, Chris had a direct role in guiding and developing DHS’ first QHSR (Quadrennial Homeland Security Review), and provided oversight on DHS’ $45B budget.

Moreover, as the second-ranking member of the Subcommittee on Intelligence, Information Sharing, and Terrorism Risk Assessment Chris had the opportunity to work with DHS and NCTC to develop policies pertaining to international as well as domestic terrorism. Chris was instrumental in helping DHS create and sustain Regional Fusion Centers to help state and local law enforcement officials have a more active role in homeland security. These fusion centers are a “push-pull” system of integrated intelligence sharing that keep the local officials apprised of national-level threats, and keep national decision makers aware of local and regional threats. 

Closely related to his work on the Homeland Security Committee was his work as a member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Chris served on the Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management, as well as the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, and the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials.

Prior to running for Congress, Chris worked at the Pentagon for four years on strategic analysis of the global terrorist threat. Having worked directly with the most senior decision-makers of the Bush administration, Chris provided Red Cell alternative analysis of the threat posed to the United States by al-Qaida, its network, and its affiliated groups. Chris ran DoD’s Policy Counterterrorism Evaluation Group (PCTEG), was part of the Abu Musab Zarqawi working group at the White House, and was the “Special Projects” intelligence officer for two tours during Operation Southern Watch working closely with coalition allies on low-visibility, high-impact intelligence missions throughout the region.

Commissioned as an Ensign in the United States Navy Reserve in 1995, Chris has served as an intelligence officer for over 15 years. Trained as an “all-source” intelligence officer, Carney held positions as a Watch Officer in the Pentagon’s Alert Center, as a team leader with National Intelligence Support Team (NIST), and scripted NATO counterterrorism exercises.

Retiring at the rank of Commander, he was a combat Mission Operation Commander (MOC) for the MQ-1 Predator, the MQ-9 Reaper, and RQ-4 Global Hawk ISR platforms. Chris has earned many personal awards including the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, three Joint Service Achievement Medals, and the Navy Achievement Medal.

Prior to his terms in Congress, Chris was a tenured professor of political science specializing in security, terrorism, and international relations at Penn State University, where he wrote, published, and presented dozens of academic papers pertaining to international political economy and power relationships. Chris’ doctoral dissertation, which was titled International Patron-Client Relationships, used statistical analyses to explore the impact emerging powers have on global security arrangements and the global economy.

Chris earned his BSS in U.S. Diplomatic History and Environmental Science from Cornell College, a Master’s degree from the University of Wyoming in International Studies, and his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Chris lives in Dimock, Pennsylvania with his wife Jennifer and their children.