hero image
David Barrett, PhD - Villanova University. Villanova, PA, US

David Barrett, PhD

Professor of Political Science | College of Liberal Arts and Sciences | Villanova University


David Barrett, PhD, is a presidential historian and leading expert on the CIA’s relationship with presidents and Congress.



David Barrett, PhD Publication David Barrett, PhD Publication David Barrett, PhD Publication David Barrett, PhD Publication




Professor David Barrett on CNN's Intelligence Leaks in the Trump Administration (May 2017)



Areas of Expertise (9)

Political Science

Presidential Decision Making

Lyndon Baines Johnson

The Central Intelligence Agency

United States Presidents

United States Congress

National Security and Intelligence Issues

The Vietnam War



Dr. Barrett is one of the country's leading experts on the critical relationship between the United States Congress and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Current hot topic issues such as national security and the United States presidency are other areas of specialty for Barrett. He is also a good source for stories on President Lyndon Baines Johnson's handling of the Vietnam War. Coming from a background in radio and television news, Barrett is adept at giving media interviews on his area of academic expertise.

Education (3)

University of Notre Dame: PhD

University of Essex (England): MA

University of Notre Dame: BA

Select Media Appearances (6)

Thanks Anyway, Bobby: Kennedy Family Endorses Biden for 2024 Over One of Their Own



The support from the Kennedys is an apparent effort to blunt the impact of Robert Kennedy Jr.’s third-party candidacy... Dr. David Barrett, professor of political science at Villanova University, says that [Kennedy's] numbers may not last as people pay closer attention to the election.

view more

Adam Schiff wants ‘comity’ for the House Intelligence Committee. It won't be easy.

Los Angeles Times  print


Democrats and Republicans sit on both panels, but they were envisioned as operating in a nonpartisan fashion. "It seems sort of quaint now,” said David Barrett, a Villanova University professor who studies the relationship between Congress and the intelligence community.

view more

Answers About the Secret Memo on the Trump-Russia Inquiry

The New York Times  print


When the Intelligence Committees become political, oversight of the intelligence agencies becomes “just about impossible,” said David M. Barrett, a professor of political science at Villanova University who has written a book on the C.I.A. and Congress. “Intelligence becomes just another political football.”

view more

Unveiled CIA report reveals internal warfare over blame for Bay of Pigs failure

The Miami Herald  online


The long-secret Volume V of the Central Intelligence Agency’s documentation of the failed Bay of Pigs invasion contains no bombshells, no earth-shaking details of the 1961 assault on the island by a CIA-trained Cuban exile force. Instead, it delves into “the war at the CIA in the aftermath of the Bay of Pigs over who was to blame” for the invasion’s failure, according to the professor who filed suit to shake loose the recently released document. “Essentially, it is a critical history of the [CIA] inspector general’s critical report, which mainly blamed CIA incompetence for the failure of the Bay of Pigs,” said David Barrett, a political science professor at Villanova University in Pennsylvania.

view more

Honesty, RIP: Facts take a beating across US

The Associated Press  


Is this when it ends for that ancient ideal, the truth? Is this where it has come to die, victim of campaigns and conspiracies, politicians and internet trolls and the masses who swallow their rhetoric? Rest in peace, honesty? "The value of facts in a democracy has taken a beating," said David Barrett, a political science professor at Villanova University.

Op-ed: NSA secrets revealed — in 1960

The Washington Post  


The young man was employed by the National Security Agency for only a couple of years before feeling shocked at its intrusions into other countries’ affairs and even private mail addressed to U.S. citizens. He was also disgusted at the contrast between the idealistic language of the president, serving his second term, and the behavior of the government he headed.

view more

Select Academic Articles (2)

JFK, FBI, and CIA: playing hardball over an intelligence leak to the New York Times

Intelligence and National Security

Barrett, David M.


view more

A New Intelligence Director's Diary: President Truman, a Young JFK, Ho Chi Minh's 'Beheading' and Other Challenges

Intelligence and National Security

Barrett, David M.


view more