Early in my career as a CIA analyst, I arrayed facts as one might arrange bits of tile to create a mosaic. I argued with others, who, using the same facts, created a different montage, a different story. We debated the details, forged consensus, presented alternatives. Our analyses went to our country’s top leaders. They took action based on what we wrote.
I learned that words matter.
Over the course of my career I’ve worked in all of the Agency’s major directorates, with scientists, agents, seventh-floor officials, and while the topics and people changed, the common denominator of my experience was a simple instrument: my pen.
My favorite assignment came about ten years after I started government service. As Chief Speechwriter for Directors William Webster, Robert Gates and James Woolsey, I guided a small staff and together, we drafted a wide variety of speeches, congressional testimony, magazine articles, op-ed pieces, and press releases, among other written products. I was a chameleon, changing content and writing style based on the preferences of my director and the needs of the audience.
Now, I’m free to chart my own course.
As a former Senior Intelligence Officer with decades of writing experience and post-graduate degrees in Government from Georgetown and Writing from Johns Hopkins, I’ve set my sights on freelance writing—with a focus on people.
I invite you to wander my website: explore the interviews, personal essays, and selected speeches I’ve written–and take a look at my blog dedicated to America’s first and greatest spy of the Second World War, Virginia Hall. Each section of this website has an interesting story to tell.