Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Combating Terrorism
2020 Virtual SO/LIC
Mr. Joseph Francescon serves as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (DASD) for Special Operations and Combatting Terrorism (SOCT). DASD Francescon is responsible for overseeing the employment of special operations forces in counterterrorism, Military Information Support Operations (MISO), Information Operations, unconventional warfare, irregular warfare, direct action, special reconnaissance, foreign internal defense, counter proliferation, sensitive special operations, and personnel recovery/hostage issues as specified by the Secretary of Defense. Mr. Francescon was sworn in on 24 August 2020.
From June 2018 through July 2020, Mr. Francescon served as a Director for Counterterrorism and the Acting Senior Director for the Counterterrorism and Transnational Threats Directorate at the National Security Council (NSC). In these roles, Mr. Francescon was responsible for coordination and implementation of strategic-level policy making and support to senior NSC and White House leadership on all manners of counterterrorism, hostage recovery, counternarcotics, and transnational organized crime issues.
Mr. Francescon began his career in government as a Department of Defense civilian within the National Security Agency in 2008. Throughout his time in government, Mr. Francescon has served in a variety of roles focused primarily in support of interagency counterterrorism efforts, including overseas postings in East and West Africa and the Middle East.
Mr. Francescon was raised in Columbus, Ohio. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from Miami University and possesses a Master of Science degree in Cybersecurity.