Deception, Illusion, and Espionage: An Unlikely Recipe for Success | Jonna Mendez | TEDxFoggyBottom

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As the Former Chief of Disguise for the CIA, Jonna Mendez reveals the undertaking of creating identity transformations for US covert agents. With astonishing stories and pictures, she shares her experiences working in the CIA opposition effort against the KGB where she trained valuable assets in some of the least hospitable countries in the world.

Jonna Mendez is a retired CIA intelligence officer with 27 years of service. During her career she lived overseas on multiple assignments, under cover, serving tours of duty in Europe, South Asia and the Far East. Her work took her throughout Western Europe, the sub-continent and Asia. Retiring in 1993, she had risen to the position of Chief of Disguise and the rank of GS-14 earning the CIA’s Intelligence Commendation Medal. As Chief of Disguise she was responsible for a worldwide staff that created identity transformations for both CIA officers and foreign assets working with the U.S. government. Since retiring from the CIA, Jonna has continued her career as a fine art photographer, a consultant/lecturer and an author. She and her husband, Antonio J. Mendez, have collaborated on a book about their work against the Soviets in Moscow during the last decade of the Cold War. The title of the book is Spy Dust. She also worked closely with her husband in the writing of ARGO. They have just finished their next book, The Moscow Rules, to be published in May 2019. Jonna is also a founding board member at the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C.

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