Maritime Security Department
National Maritime Intelligence Integration Office (NMIO)
Mr. Sanford is a retired US Navy Captain, with over 40 years of active duty military, contractor, and federal service as an intelligence professional with significant experience within Department of Defense, Intelligence Community (IC), inter-agency (IA), and international arenas at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels as well as extensive maritime domain awareness (MDA) experience.
He currently serves as the Department Head, Maritime Security within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence's National Maritime Intelligence-Integration Office (NMIO).
As his Naval career progressed, he served in critical Navy and Joint Intelligence (IC) assignments such as Ship's Intelligence Officer; Naval Intelligence / Electronic Warfare instructor; Executive Assistant to the J2, CENTCOM; Deputy Chief, Foreign Disclosure Officer; and Chief, Imagery Collection Manager at U.S. Central Command; Assistant Chief of Staff, Intelligence for Amphibious Force, U.S. Seventh Fleet; and as the U.S. Naval Attaché to Korea (Defense Intelligence Agency). In his final active duty years, he was a Deputy Director of Intelligence, Joint Staff and the Director of Operations, Joint Intelligence Task Force for Combating Terrorism, DIA.
He has deployed on numerous aircraft carriers such as the USS INDEPENDENCE, USS RANGER and USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN and amphibious ships such as the USS ESSEX and USS JUNEAU. He was assigned to Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 131 (EA-6B aircraft). He conducted several deployments to the Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, Northern Arabian Sea, Persian Gulf, Western Pacific Ocean and Philippine Sea. He participated in a multitude of exercises (TEAM SPIRIT, ULCHI FOCUS LENS, and COBRA GOLD) and military operations including Operations SOUTHERN WATCH, DESERT THUNDER, and ENDURING FREEDOM.
After retiring from the Navy in 2009, he worked as a contractor for McMunn Associates Incorporated (later acquired by PARSONs) as a senior advisor involved with the integration of spiral one MDA tools within the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) enterprise. In May 2011, he accepted a government position with ONI as the Maritime Domain-Information Dominance Outreach Coordinator. In September 2012, he was moved to manage the MDA program for ONI and the NIMITZ Operational Intelligence Center. In October 2017, he was selected as a NMIO Department Head.
He attained his Master's and Bachelor's degrees as well as numerous certifications to include Project Manager Professional (PMP). He has published on Korean peninsula security issues such as North Korea's Military Threat: Pyongyang's Conventional Forces, Weapons of Mass Destruction, and Ballistic Missiles, Andrew Scobell and John Sanford, April 2007, Strategic Studies Institute; and The Korean Armistice: Short Term Truce or Long Term Peace? John M. Sanford, US Army War College, Carlisle, PA, January 2006.