David Priess

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Visiting Professor

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David Priess is a visiting professor at George Mason University's Schar School of Policy and Government and a senior fellow at the Schar School's Michael V. Hayden Center for Intelligence, Policy, and International Security. A prominent writer and speaker on the presidency, national security, and intelligence, he is also the publisher of Lawfarechief operating officer of the Lawfare Institute, and co-host of the "Chatterpodcast.

Priess, who has a PhD in political science from Duke University, served at the CIA as an intelligence officer, a manager, and a daily intelligence briefer during the presidencies of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. During the Bush administration, he personally delivered the President’s Daily Brief for more than a year to Attorney General John Ashcroft and FBI Director Robert Mueller and occasionally into the White House.

He has written two books about the U.S. presidency. The first, The President’s Book of Secrets, relates how U.S. intelligence officials brief the commander in chief on the most sensitive information in the world. For this, he became the first author to interview, for one book, every living former president, vice president, and CIA director from previous administrations. His second book, How To Get Rid of a President: History’s Guide To Removing Unpopular, Unable, or Unfit Chief Executives, covers American political history from the Constitutional Convention through the election of Donald Trump. It stands as the definitive survey of how presidents have left office.

Priess has appeared often in national media like CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and NPR to discuss the presidency, national security, and intelligence issues. He has written for the Washington Post, Lawfare, the Bulwark, Foreign Affairs, the Daily Beast, Politico, the Cipher Brief, Foreign Policy, War on the Rocks, and the Houston Chronicle.