Michele Rigby Assad

My Secret Life in the CIA

Michele Rigby Assad

Talk: My Secret Life in the CIA

Michele Rigby Assad is a former undercover officer in the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency’s Directorate of Operations. Trained as a counterterrorism specialist, Michele spent over a decade in the agency, leading some of the most highly skilled operatives on the planet, secretly serving in some of the most treacherous areas of the Middle East, and at risk as a target for ISIS. She discusses how she stood out from many of the older white men who excelled at the CIA, and how she used her differences to her advantage. Michele also covers a range of other topics including misconceptions about Middle East, her experience dealing with terrorists, recent shootings in the U.S., and what civilians can do to stay safe.

Michele Rigby Assad

Michele Rigby Assad is a former undercover officer in the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency’s Directorate of Operations. Trained as a counterterrorism specialist, Michele served her country for ten years, working in Iraq and other secret Middle Eastern locations. She holds a master’s degree in Contemporary Arab Studies from Georgetown University. Today she serves as an international security consultant.

Breaking Cover: My Secret Life in the CIA and What It Taught Me about What's Worth Fighting For

As a CIA agent and a counterterrorism expert, Michele found that working undercover was an all-encompassing job. The threats were real; the assignments perilous. Michele spent over a decade in the agency—a woman leading some of the most highly skilled operatives on the planet, secretly serving in some of the most treacherous areas of the Middle East, and at risk as a target for ISIS.

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