Former Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet (SFS ’76) will become a professor at Georgetown beginning this semester, the university announced Friday.

Tenet’s three-year term as a distinguished professor in the practice of diplomacy in the School of Foreign Service starts this academic year. Tenet will also serve as a senior research associate in the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy.

While at Georgetown, Tenet will lead and speak at lectures, seminars and meetings with students and faculty, and he is set to begin teaching courses on security studies in the School of Foreign Service in fall 2005.

“I love it. I think it’s a great opportunity to be back on campus,” Tenet said following a speech to Parents’ Weekend attendees in Gaston Hall Saturday.

“This is a great university with a great faculty – and the faculty just got greater,” School of Foreign Service Dean Robert Gallucci said at the Saturday speech.

The appointment comes just over four months after Tenet’s June resignation as director of the CIA, a position Tenet held since 1997, following a diverse career in the intelligence and security fields under Presidents Clinton (SFS ’68) and George W. Bush.

Tenet reflected on his career in intelligence and discussed future challenges to global security in his speech Saturday.

“The issue that dominated my tenure at the CIA is terrorism,” Tenet said.

Accurate intelligence information was paramount in the war on terrorism, Tenet added, citing several instances where intelligence had intercepted potential terrorist attacks.

Al-Qaeda, he said, often attempts to repeat past attacks or attempted attacks. One such intercepted, attempted attack, which he said had been planned for the new millennium, involved putting the deadly poison hydrogen cyanide inside a movie theater in Amman, Jordan.

“You’re not fighting just a terrorist organization,” he said. “You’re fighting an intelligence organization that has incredible capability and knowledge.”

Tenet also called on the world’s developed countries to take an active role in assisting other nations on the road to democracy and prosperity.

“The failure of societies to meet the needs of their people gets translated into a doctrine of hate,” he said.

He cited government corruption in many nations, global economic disparities, overpopulation and the rise of HIV/AIDS infections as contributing factors that may lead people to support terrorist rhetoric in regions such as the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

The world, Tenet said, is “fundamentally different” than the world of 20 years ago.

He identified China’s gaining strength and potential to attain global superpower status, the current situation in North Korea and Iran’s links to the terrorist group Hezbollah as issues that could potentially dominate world affairs in the near future.

Regarding China and its economic and military strength, Tenet called the possibility of a conflict erupting over Taiwanese sovereignty “very real.”

Tenet discussed the ongoing challenges of the war on terrorism. He said that one of his biggest fears was that terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda would obtain materials such as uranium or plutonium from Iran, Pakistan or Russia and be able to create nuclear weapons.

Yet the United States, he said, was determined to stay the course.

“It’s a tough world but it’s a world [where] we’re going to win – we will prevail,” he said.

Following his speech, Tenet spoke and posed for photographs with parents and students who attended.

“Students here, you’re damn lucky; take advantage of every opportunity in and outside the gates,” he said.

“It was great to shake his hand and talk to him face to face afterwards,” Phil Lacovara (SFS ’07) said. Lacovara described Tenet’s speech as “passionate and informative.”

“I’m very proud we have such a knowledgeable and distinguished professor at Georgetown,” he said.

Tenet, who attended a public high school in Queens, N.Y., said that going to Georgetown as an undergraduate was “the single most important thing that happened to me in my life.”

Peter Krogh, a dean in the School of Foreign Service and a vice chairman of the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, called Tenet “the very definition of a `Hoya’ in the nation’s service.”

“In addition to bringing his vast experience to bear in the classroom, I know he will be readily accessible to students and a great champion of their education here,” Krogh said.

In a Feb. 5, address in Gaston Hall, Tenet vigorously defended the intelligence community in light of the Iraq war. He also spoke at the SFS commencement in 2003.

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