Dell L. Dailey

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Ambassador at Large, Dell L. Dailey of the State Department

Dell L. Dailey was the head of the State Department's counterterrorism office from July 2007 to April 2009, after a 36 year career in the U.S. Army.

State Department[edit]

Dailey was appointed the Department of State's Coordinator for Counterterrorism on June 22, 2007. In this role he had the title of Ambassador at Large and was charged with coordinating and supporting the development and implementation of U.S. Government policies and programs aimed at countering terrorism overseas. As the principal advisor to the Secretary of State on international counterterrorism matters, he was responsible for taking a leading role in developing coordinated strategies to defeat terrorists abroad and in securing the cooperation of international partners to that end.[1]

Military career[edit]

Prior to his current assignment, Ambassador Dailey served over 36 years on active duty in the United States Army, reaching the rank of lieutenant general. He participated in major military operations such as Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Uphold Democracy, Joint Guardian, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.[1]

After the September 11, 2001, attacks, he directed the new Center for Special Operations, the military hub for all counterterrorism - U.S. Special Operations Command, at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida as well as running special operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.[2] From 2001 to 2003, he headed the Joint Special Operations Command, a United States Special Operations Command sub-unit responsible for the US military's tier-one special operations units such Delta Force, Naval Special Warfare Development Group and the Intelligence Support Activity.[2] Dailey was both praised and criticized for his leadership during the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. Although his planning helped the US effectively insert its Special Operations units into the country, Dailey faced criticism for not deploying more troops in the unsuccessful hunt to capture Osama bin Laden.[3]

During Operation Desert Storm, Dailey, then a lieutenant colonel, led the Night Stalkers, an aviation team born from the failed 1980 hostage rescue attempt in Iran that flies secret missions, often at low altitudes, in the dark of night.[2] He led one mission deep inside Iraq in order to gather soil samples needed for the US Army to determine if American tanks might get stuck during the planned assault. Dailey’s decision to personally command the mission was called “unheard of.”[3]

Childhood and Education[edit]

Ambassador Dailey was born into an Army family in Flandreau, South Dakota. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1971 and earned a Master's degree in Public Administration from Shippensburg University in 1994.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Biography of Dell L. Dailey". US Department of State. Retrieved 2012-07-17. 
  2. ^ a b c Robin Wright (August 24, 2007). "Dell Dailey: Soldier, Counterterrorism Warrior". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2009-03-16. 
  3. ^ a b "Dailey, Dell; Previous Coordinator". Retrieved 2012-07-17.