Shawn Turner

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Shawn Turner

Former Terker Distinguished Fellow

Shawn Turner is an on-air national security and communication analyst for CNN and the former chair of the Information Operations Department at the Daniel Morgan Graduate School of National Security (DMGS). While at DMGS, Turner taught graduate courses on information and decision-making, as well as courses on the use of disinformation as an instrument of national power.

Prior to joining DMGS, Turner was a senior executive in the federal government. His positions included deputy White House press secretary for national security, director of communication for national intelligence at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), and deputy press secretary for foreign affairs for the National Security Council (NSC).

At ODNI, Turner was responsible for managing and coordinating all internal and external communication on behalf of the 17 agencies and components that make up the Intelligence Community. In 2013, he was the lead government official responsible for engaging news media organizations after the removal of thousands of classified intelligence documents by NSA contractor, Edward Snowden.

At the White House and the NSC, he was the principal spokesperson for U.S. foreign policy in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and helped develop the government’s approach to communicating intelligence reform in 2014.

In his current role with CNN, Turner provides expert analysis on a range of foreign policy, defense and intelligence issues, and is regularly called on to assess government and organizational communication strategy.

Turner has been published in USA Today, on and is the co-author of “Best Practices in Risk Communication for National Defense,” published in The Handbook of Science and Technology for Homeland Security.

He is a member of the board of advisors for the National Security Agency (NSA) and serves on the executive board of advisors for the Center for Ethics and the Rule of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

In recent years, Turner was named one of Washington D.C.’s top decision makers by the National Journal (2013), honored with the Intelligence Community Leadership Award (2015) and in 2016, he was awarded the Meritorious Presidential Rank Award for outstanding career accomplishments and exemplary service to the nation.

Prior to his civilian career, Turner served 21 years as an officer in the United States Marine Corps. He received his B.A. degree in communication studies from Texas State University and an M.A. degree in communication from George Mason University.