College of Engineering / Sites / Mccrary Institute / Advisory Board / Lt. Gen. Ronald L. Burgess


Lt. Gen. Ronald L. Burgess

Lt. Gen. Ronald L. Burgess Jr. retired from the U.S. Army as the 17th director of the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2012. Throughout his 38-year Army career, and in his roles with Auburn, Burgess has continued to serve the U.S. intelligence community by providing leadership and strategic vision that contributes to safeguarding U.S. national security interests. He is also a former acting principal deputy director of national intelligence.


After being commissioned in military intelligence through the Auburn University ROTC program in 1974, Burgess held a variety of key staff and command positions throughout his military career. General officer assignments include Director of Intelligence, J2, U.S. Southern Command; Director of Intelligence, J2, Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Customer Outcomes transitioning to Director of the Intelligence Staff in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.


The former DIA director returned to Auburn in December 2012 to serve as senior counsel for National Security, Cyber Programs and Military Affairs, before being appointed as Auburn’s chief operating officer in 2018. In these roles, Burgess oversees a range of university services to ensure Auburn’s research and development programs are positioned to address issues of national and global significance.


Burgess was honored in 2013 by the Auburn Alumni Association with its Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2015, he was inducted into the United States Army Military Intelligence Hall of Fame and, in 2016, was inducted into the Army ROTC National Hall of Fame.


He earned a master's in education from the University of Southern California in 1980 and a master's in military arts and science from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in 1986. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from LaGrange College in 2015 and received an honorary doctorate from Stetson University in 2017. On July 27, 2018, he received an honorary doctorate of strategic intelligence degree from the National Intelligence University in Bethesda, Maryland.