Exclusive to Mason Nation: CIA Insiders Discuss the State of U.S. Intelligence

A flyer advertising an event about the CIA’s anniversary has photos of three people looking at the camera.


Have you ever wondered what goes on inside the world of U.S. intelligence? How do spy agencies obtain secrets from foreign countries? What’s it like to brief the president of the U.S. on classified information about crucial world events? How is the intelligence community dealing with recent turmoil?

These and other questions about the state of the intelligence community—specifically the Central Intelligence Agency—will be addressed during an exclusive opportunity for George Mason University students, staff, and faculty.

For the first time ever, the current CIA Director of Operations David Marlowe and Director of Analysis Linda Weissgold will sit down together for a public discussion about the state of the CIA today. Michael Morell, former acting CIA director, will moderate the conversation in an event hosted by the Schar School’s Michael V. Hayden Center for Intelligence, Policy, and International Security.

The in-person discussion is an limited to the George Mason University community. This rare public conversation takes place Wednesday, November 16 at 7 p.m. at Van Metre Hall Auditorium at Mason Square in Arlington. Registration at this site (http://bit.ly/3TiNGtd) is free and for in-person attendance only. A valid Mason faculty, staff, or student ID is required for admission.

There is no livestreaming of the discussion.

Marlowe and Weissgold will discuss, as much as they can, the inner workings of the CIA, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year.

  • Marlowe’s division handles the collection of intelligence acquired by human sources (human intelligence or HUMINT), and when necessary, and under unique circumstances, they conduct covert action as directed by the president.
  • Weissgold’s division provides timely, accurate, and objective intelligence analysis. Analysts inform U.S. officials, including the president and senior advisers, on key foreign issues.

The moderated conversation will be followed by a Q&A session with the audience. A reception follows.