Deputy Director NCTC

Deputy Director, National Counterterrorism Center

Don Holstead NCTC

Don Holstead


Don M. Holstead joined NCTC as its Deputy Director in March 2024. Prior to that, he spent 20 years at FBI, most recently serving as Deputy Assistant Director of its Counterterrorism Division. He has diverse counterterrorism experience against ISIS, al-Qa’ida, and Iran; has established and enhanced partnerships with State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial elements; and has managed processes to use bulk data to score the risk threat actors pose.


Mr. Holstead joined the FBI as a special agent in 2004, and rose in the ranks to serve in numerous leadership positions there, including Deputy Director for Law Enforcement to the Joint Special Operations Command Interagency Task Force; National Capitol Region and Assistant Section Chief; Section Chief of the Target Discovery Section of the Counterterrorism Intelligence Branch; and National Security Assistant Special Agent in Charge with oversight of all cyber, counterterrorism, counterintelligence, and weapons of mass destruction programs in Denver’s National Security Branch. He was also selected to stand up a new section in the FBI's Counterterrorism Division, designated the Special Threats Section, to address threats posed by state sponsors and complex threat networks. As a member of San Antonio Division’s Crisis Negotiator Team, he deployed to Afghanistan in support of efforts to recover American hostages held by Foreign Terrorist Organizations.


Prior to his federal service, he spent more than a decade in Special Operations in the U.S. Army. He has a Master’s of Business Organizational Leadership from George Washington University.