Decorated U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander Jason D. Shell joined the influential National Security Council in September. As the new Director for Intelligence Programs, he advises the council on policies, which can involve interagency work. One of the targets of the council is the coming 5G upgrade in communication infrastructure.
The last person to make headlines in the role was Michael Barry, who left last year in a shakeup by former National Security Adviser John Bolton. He had replaced Ezra Cohen-Watnick, 31 years old at the time, who only took the role in 2017. Barry was hired by Bolton’s predecessor H.R. McMaster, while Cohen-Watnick was hired President Donald Trump‘s first National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn.
Perhaps Shell’s stay will come with more permanency. He began his military career as an Officer in Charge of Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Mobile Unit TWELVE in 2011, ensuring the secure disposal of explosive weaponry. He then became Aide-de-Camp to the Director of Expeditionary Warfare Division at the Navy in 2012. In 2016, Shell served as the Executive Officer at the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit TWO. And during his time as a White House Fellow in 2018, he was a member of the Iran Action Group within the Department of State.
Shell was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Valor, the Combat Action Ribbon, and the Defense Meritorious Service Medal. He received a B.S. in History at the United States Naval Academy, followed by a MPhil at the University of Oxford, with a focus on National Security Studies and International Relations. His published work has appeared in Proceedings of the U.S. Naval Institute, where he won the 2015 Leadership Essay Contest; and in War on the Rocks.