View the Full List
Keith Alexander

9 - Army Gen. Keith Alexander
2012 Rank: 19

Commander, US Cyber Command; Director, National Security Agency
The double-hatted king of electronic intelligence, Alexander has overseen an extraordinary leap in capability in the decade since 9/11. The NSA’s immense abilities to collect data — emails, texts, phone records, Internet searches — are a testament to Alexander’s bold vision, organizational prowess and ability to persuade politicians and defense leaders to back his efforts. Articulate, engaging and thoughtful, Alexander has argued that extraordinary capabilities — and measures — are vital to defend nations, their interests and citizens. But the bombshell revelations by Edward Snowden (No. 28) have turned the chief of the secretive agency into the public face of government surveillance in the cyber age. Many wonder whether the massive cyber organization Alexander helped establish will survive after he retires early next year.

Cyber Intelligence Afghanistan Asia-Pacific Middle East Army