Waldemar Payton

46th President of the United States
Assumed office January 20, 2017
Vice President Demetrius Madson
Preceded by Horace Jansen
Personal details
Born Waldemar William Payton
October 7, 1959
Political party Republican
Spouse Lucy Alexander
Alma mater Princeton University
Religion Roman Catholic
Military service
Branch United States Army
Years of service 1981–1985
Rank 1st Lieutenant
Unit 401st Military Intelligence Battalion

Waldemar Payton (born October 7, 1959) is the 46th and current President of the United States.

He was born in Richmond Memorial Hospital in Staten Island, New York; the youngest of three children of William Payton and Marie Payton (née Shelby). His older brothers were, Victor and Albert. Payton's father was a New York City police officer and former United States Army infantry officer. After he graduated from Curtis High School in Staten Island in 1977, he went on to Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey. Payton graduated from Princeton in 1981 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army via the Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps. Shortly after, he married his girlfriend of three years, Lucy Alexander.

While at Princeton, Payton decided to become an intelligence officer. Upon completing the Military Intelligence Officer Basic Course at the U.S. Army Intelligence Center, he was assigned to the 401st Military Intelligence Battalion at Katterbach Kaserne in West Germany as a counterintelligence platoon leader. Payton was later elevated to company executive officer and then company commander. He left the U.S. Army at the rank of 1st Lieutenant in 1985 after four years of service. Payton then moved to Washington, D.C., with his wife and their daughters, Katherine and Marie. In D.C., he obtained employment as an associate consultant at Petersburg Consulting, a management consulting firm. Soon after, Payton applied to join the Central Intelligence Agency as a case officer. After completing the application process and being accepted as a career trainee, he left Petersburg Consulting and went on to the Special Training Center near near Williamsburg, Virginia. Upon completing the career trainee program in 1987, Payton was given official cover as a U.S. Foreign Service officer and assigned as an operations officer to the CIA station at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, China.

In 1990, he was assigned to the CIA station at the U.S. Embassy in Bonn, West Germany. Two years after that, Payton was assigned to the CIA station at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, Russia. He was assigned as the Deputy Chief of Station to the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, Turkey in 1994. Following his assignment as a Deputy Chief of Station, Payton was posted to the CIA Headquarters in 1996 and began Modern Standard Arabic language training. In 1997, he was assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Amman, Jordan as the Chief of Station. Payton returned to United States in 1999 and served as a tradecraft instructor at the Special Training Center until 2000. He then became the chief of operations of the Counterterrorism Center. In 2001, Payton was posted to the National Security Council to serve as the Deputy Director for Intelligence Programs. In 2002, he returned to the CIA and was made Deputy Chief of the Counterintelligence Center. Payton was elevated to Chief of the Counterintelligence Center in 2003. In 2006, he became the Deputy Director of the National Clandestine Service. Payton became the Director of the National Clandestine Service in 2007.

In June of 2008, he left the Central Intelligence Agency after more than twenty years as a CIA officer. A month later, Payton returned with his wife, to New York City, where he was recruit by GBK Partners LLC, a Manhattan-based security management consultancy firm specializing in corporate intelligence services and industrial security consulting. He served as GBK Partners LLC's Chief Operating Officer. In July of 2009, New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly offered Payton the position of the New York City Police Department's Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence and Counterterrorism. He accepted the offer and was officially appointed to the job on August 1, 2009 by Commissioner Kelly. On December 15, 2010, Payton was nominated for the position of United States Secretary of Homeland Security by Michael Gorban, the President of the United States. After confirmation by the United States Senate on January 26, 2011, he was sworn in as the fourth U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security. On August 31, 2012, Payton was announced as the Republican vice presidential nominee by Republican presidential nominee Governor of Colorado Horace Jansen. He resigned from his post as Secretary of Homeland Security the next day.

Payton officially became the vice presidential nominee at the Republican National Convention in Phoenix, Arizona on September 6, 2012. On Tuesday, November 6, 2012, he was elected 48th Vice President of the United States while Horace Jansen was elected 45th President of the United States. Payton was officially sworn into the vice presidency by Associate Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas on January 20, 2013 and then formally inaugurated on January 21, 2013. On December 31, 2014, President Jansen announced that he would not seek a second term. Payton announced his candidacy for the 2016 Republican nomination for the presidency on January 5, 2015. On May 3, 2016, he became the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party after his victory in the Indiana primary and the withdrawal of the last competitors, Senator Nicholas Carroll of Texas and Governor Mike Proctor of Ohio, from the race. On May 26, Payton secured his 1,238th delegate, achieving a majority of the available delegates. On July 22, 2016, he announced the selection of Governor Demetrius Madson of Indiana as his vice-presidential running mate.

On July 28, 2016, in Cleveland, Ohio, Payton formally accepted the Republican Party's nomination at the 2016 Republican National Convention. On Tuesday, November 8, 2016, he was elected 46th president of the United States, beating the Democratic nominee, former Secretary of State Genevieve Zane of New York. Payton received 306 votes in the Electoral College and 51.9% in the popular vote. He was inaugurated and sworn into the presidency by Chief Justice of the United States John G. Roberts on January 20, 2017.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.