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Experience

I retired from the US Government in early January 2019 following a 39-year career with the US Department of State's Bureau of Intelligence and Research where I managed, mentored, wrote about diplomacy, politics and military affairs, and explained realpolitik to elected leaders, foreign policy decision-makers, military officials and congressional figures. I started my intelligence career when Cyrus Vance was Secretary of State, and have four decades of experience at the nexus of the worlds of intelligence and diplomacy. I was present when the intelligence community and the State Department made the transition from manual typewriters and rotary telephones to email and internet connectivity, have received numerous awards for my unique analytic work on the USSR (1980-87) and the Middle East (1987-2014).

  • From 1980 to 1987, I worked on the USSR, discerning Soviet leadership thinking and intentions from open media (Pravda, Izvestiya, etc.) (please click here for an overview of "Kremlinology"; to get an idea of the environment in which we worked, please read about the late Donald Graves, one of my colleagues, here). I was trained in analytic tradecraft by veterans of the OSS; my first supervisor, the late Martha Mautner, worked in the Embassy in Berlin during the 1948-49 airlift.
  • I explored and wrote about the implications of a broad range of Soviet clandestine activities and eventually was recruited to be the sole writer for the Active Measures Working Group. You can read a compilation of the unclassified reports that I prepared specifically for the counter-Soviet effort here. (To see the reports in their original format please go here. ) Please click here to read a study documenting the activities of the AMWG. (You may also view one of the last cables I drafted as I was moving from Soviet to Mideast affairs here.)
  • In 1987 I was invited by the department leadership to work on the Middle East, and for the next 27 years examined the Arab-Israeli conflict, US-Israel relations, Israel's relationship with Iran, Syria, Russia, the Palestinians, internal Israeli politics, political-military relations and the strategic balance.
  • Prior to my retirement from the department, I had been working on foreign policy issues related to Africa, including Nigeria.

During the course of my career I received numerous Departmental and intelligence community awards for my leadership skills and scholarship. I penned thousands of articles, memos, research papers and in-depth analyses on a vast array of topics for policymakers, Congress and the White House, and appeared before Congressional committees to provide testimony and assessments. I am intimately familiar with analytic tradecraft and the intelligence profession more generally; my expertise is open-source and all-source intelligence analysis. Please contact me if I can be of assistance. Thank you.