Inside my CIA Career: Parting Words

Inside my CIA Career: Parting Words

I had a retirement photo opportunity with then-CIA Director John Brennan. He greeted me with a CIA keepsake coin and a firm handshake. We posed for the photographer and chatted for a minute about favorite assignments over my 30 year career.   He asked me what I...

read more
Inside my CIA Career: The Point of It All

Inside my CIA Career: The Point of It All

Before retiring, I took a seminar about transitioning to the private sector. All the students were fellow CIA intelligence officers. At one point, somebody raised a hand and said what everybody was thinking: “I’ve been an intelligence officer my entire professional...

read more
Inside my CIA Career: Variety and the Spice of Life

Inside my CIA Career: Variety and the Spice of Life

What did I do? Whenever I’m asked, “What did you do in the CIA?” I’m a bit stuck. There’s no good snappy answer. I did a variety of things, many of which can't be defined in layman's terms. One of the reasons for such a varied career was that I was balancing work and...

read more
Inside my CIA Career: Encounter with a Spyplane

Inside my CIA Career: Encounter with a Spyplane

FLYING Several years ago, my husband got his private pilot’s license and we owned a small Piper aircraft. Our son was in kindergarten and promptly fell in love with all things aviation. This rubbed off on me. Our family was soon immersed in flying stories, books about...

read more
Inside my CIA Career: Media Matters

Inside my CIA Career: Media Matters

What the heck is OSINT My resume includes this line:  OSINT Analyst/Editor, Foreign Broadcast Information Service. Wrote, edited, and briefed analytical conclusions and OSINT reporting content to all levels of inter-and intra-agency audiences. OSINT is shorthand for...

read more
Inside my CIA Career: Secrets of Great Dialogue

Inside my CIA Career: Secrets of Great Dialogue

Competing Motivations As happened so many times over the course of a 30-year CIA career, I was either a participant or an observer in a dialogue. Not the conversation that happens when you are both talking about the same thing or want the same thing, but a...

read more
Inside my CIA Career: Make it “Actionable”

Inside my CIA Career: Make it “Actionable”

CIA career During my 30-year CIA career, it was always impressed upon me that we were stewards of the taxpayer’s money. With that in mind, there was effort to make sure the CIA and sister agencies got value for the money when it came to intelligence collection....

read more
Inside my CIA Career: The Moving Picture Show

Inside my CIA Career: The Moving Picture Show

Thanks to my CIA Career If you’ve read the last few books in the Detective Emilia Cruz police series set in Acapulco, you may have noticed that video plays an important role in providing clues and solving the mystery. In 43 MISSING, the footage from police interviews...

read more
Inside my CIA Career: the Coup Kit

Inside my CIA Career: the Coup Kit

Coups My official resume says this about the 5 years during my CIA career when I was an all-source analyst: Performed all source analysis of geographic topics of intelligence interest in support of US national security, including National Intelligence Estimates Action...

read more
Inside my CIA Career: The Analytic Puzzle

Inside my CIA Career: The Analytic Puzzle

First Job My first position with the Central Intelligence Agency was as a political analyst. The official CIA website describes analysis jobs as: “Collaborative. Problem-solvers. Critical thinkers. These are the qualities needed for CIA analytic positions. The ability...

read more
What I did in the CIA: Glutinous but not Unflavorful

What I did in the CIA: Glutinous but not Unflavorful

Blame it on the Swedish meatballs Early in my CIA career, I was having lunch in the cafeteria of the Original Headquarters Building (back when it was the only Headquarters building.) My friend Willa was apparently feeling daring that day. She ordered the Swedish...

read more
For Celine, With Love

For Celine, With Love

TRUE STORY On 11 May 1968, when I was 8 years old, I made my First Communion at St. Paul’s Church in Rome NY. My first cousin Celine was next to me, wearing an identical outfit of starched white linen shift and a lace mantilla secured with a satin ribbon tied under...

read more
Things in the Mirror are Closer than they Appear

Things in the Mirror are Closer than they Appear

It was a first and I’m still recovering. I live in a fairly friendly town. So when there was a shoutout for women who work from home to meet for coffee, I went. About 20 gals showed up, none of whom I knew. As we were introducing ourselves, one of them said. “I’ve...

read more
Open Letter to 2019

Open Letter to 2019

Dear 2019, With the benefit of having lived through your younger brother known as 2018, you will find me a bit changed. Older, wiser, and a bit more cunning.   Love, Carmen From 2018, with love Every year, instead of a list of easily-forgotten resolutions,...

read more

Pin It on Pinterest