David Stapleton

Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA), Critical Technology Protection
Assistant Director
NDIA DCSA Roundtable with David Stapleton

David Stapleton is the Assistant Director of the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA), where he is responsible for the Critical Technology Protection mission. In conjunction with the Director of the DCSA, Mr. Stapleton is responsible for the oversight and management of the government’s largest security organization, focused on securing classified and sensitive information and technology for both the military and the rest of the federal government.

Defense Counterintelligence Security Agency is a strategic asset to the Nation and its allies – continuously ensuring a trusted federal, industrial and affiliated workforce, and enabling industry’s delivery of uncompromised capabilities by leveraging advanced technologies and innovation. The agency uniquely blends critical technology protection, trusted personnel vetting, counterintelligence, and professional education and certification to advance and preserve America’s strategic edge.

Mr. Stapleton most recently served as the Director of Trusted Capital, a program launched within the DoD to combat adversarial capital. Previously, he served as the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Industrial Policy, where they initiated five Title III Defense Production Act programs that mobilized purchase commitment authority for revenue to critical companies, assisted in bringing US technology transfer clearance with adversaries to historic lows in the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS) and created the Trusted Capital program. From October 2016 to 2019, he also led Global Markets and Investments, where he served as the DoD lead for CFIUS. During this time, he helped to expand mission resources eight-fold, implemented a systems-based approach to scale DoD caseload 30% and mobilized a private-sector based CFIUS monitoring model that shifted the financial burden back to our adversaries.

Mr. Stapleton began his career on Wall Street, where he last served as Vice President and Group Head of Market Strategy at JPMorgan. He created JPMorgan’s proprietary sequential optimization model, a unique quantitative methodology for advising Fortune 500 companies on asset class and fund allocations. During this time, he guest lectured on the Economics of Finance at Columbia University.

Following the events of 9-11, he left Wall Street for the U.S. Marine Corps, where he commanded a Marine Sniper platoon in Afghanistan, a Reconnaissance platoon in Iraq, and a reserve Force Recon unit.  Mr. Stapleton then led a Marine Special Operations Training Group (SOTG) unit in counter narco-terrorism training missions in Colombia and Peru for host-nation Marine and SEAL units.

Mr. Stapleton was then selected as Senior Advisor in the State Department’s Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism, where he directed a program designed to address the underlying causes of instability in areas of strategic concern. He then served back in the military with U.S. Special Operations Command, where he led the Nigeria-US Counterterrorism & Counterinsurgency Exchange during the standup of Nigerian Army Special Operations Command. He remains in the Marine reserves, where he most recently served as commanding officer of 4th Recon Battalion. Prior to joining DoD as a civilian, he was adjunct instructor in political science and economics at the U.S. Naval Academy and served for three years as the Chief Operating Officer of a startup tech company.

He earned an M.A. in International Relations from Columbia (part-time), an Executive M.B.A. from Wharton and an accelerated J.D. from Northwestern. His Bachelor’s degree is in Political Science from Georgetown, where he was a goalkeeper on the men’s soccer team.