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John Costello

Senior Advisor

Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Intelligence and Security at the Department of Commerce 

John Costello is a Senior Advisor with WestExec and an Adjunct Senior Fellow with the Technology and National Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. John focuses on U.S.-China trade relationship, export controls, investment screening, and U.S. policy on information and communication technology (ICT) and emerging technologies.

John is the former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Intelligence and Security at the Department of Commerce. In that capacity, John established the Commerce Department’s intelligence analysis capability and led the Department’s information and communications technology and service supply-chain analytical and regulatory efforts. Prior to the Department of Commerce, John served as a Senior Director and Lead for Task Force Two at the U.S. Cyberspace Solarium Commission, where he led the Commission’s work on cybersecurity, resilience, and supply chain security. Prior to that, John also served as the Director of Strategy, Policy, and Plans and Senior Advisor to the Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.

In 2016, John was selected as a Congressional Innovation Fellow, serving on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. During his time on the Hill, John helped investigate the 2015 cyber breach of the Office of Personnel Management and helped oversee federal IT security. John previously worked for a defense contracting firm, focusing on China’s use of legal and extra-legal technology transfer in emerging technologies.

John’s insights have appeared in Wired, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Reuters, War on the Rocks, and Lawfare.

John was an enlisted U.S. Navy sailor, serving his tours of duty at the National Security Agency as an intelligence analyst and operations officer. While at the National Security Agency, John specialized in foreign adversary cyber, electronic, and information warfare. John has a working professional proficiency in Chinese Mandarin, graduating with honors from the Defense Language Institute.