The Intelligence Project will host our first webinar event on Wednesday March 25th from 11:45a,-1:00pm.  

Please join us for a special panel discussion with three women who spent their CIA careers undertaking foreign intelligence activities overseas with the CIA’s Clandestine Service. They’ll discuss their careers as clandestine operatives and help distinguish reality from Hollywood fiction. With a special focus on the role of female officers in the world of secret agents, they’ll offer insights into the successes and challenges they encountered as women in the evolution of a more diverse workforce.  Our panelists will also discuss their professional activities post-CIA.

Karen deLacy is the co-founder of deLacy Associates which focuses on gender equity, culture change and leadership.  This endeavor follows a three-decade career in the CIA’s clandestine service where she worked as a field operative and senior manager in the CIA's Directorate of Operations (DO). She served multiple overseas tours — on three continents —  including as Chief and Deputy Chief of Station. She was responsible for leading human and technical operations with foreign partners.  She is a recipient of the CIA’s Career Intelligence Medal, in recognition of her senior operational leadership and efforts at advancing gender equity.  She is also a recipient of the DNI Culper Award for her contributions to cyber intelligence.  

Karen has conducted women empowerment training sessions in the US, Asia, Africa and Europe and coached individual clients. She has published on gender equity.  She holds a Masters Degree in Organizational Development and a Georgetown University Certificate in Leadership Coaching; she is a Certified Dare to Lead ™ Facilitator.  

Diana Dragon began her professional career on Wall Street, working in investment banking, hedge funds and private equity, working at a variety of firms including JPMorgan partners.  Following 9/11, she joined the CIA as an operations officer.   From 2006-2019 she worked primarily overseas including serving twice as Chief of Station in Central Asia.  As a Russian language speaker, Ms. Dragon served in several Russian speaking countries.  Ms. Dragon is currently the head of Business Intelligence at BP, which provides intelligence for commercial decision making.  She holds a BS in Russian Studies and Management from Georgetown University, and an MBA in finance and management from NYU.

Maura Burns Watson retired Fall of 2019 from the Directorate of Digital Innovation’s Center for Cyber Intelligence (CCI) senior management team of intelligence professionals guiding the CIA’s understanding of and collection against cyber threats from foreign actors globally. Maura was jointly responsible for ensuring quality and efficacy of all CIA operations in this realm. She regularly briefed Agency and other senior USG leaders to include Director, CIA, and Director, National Security Agency, as well as U.S. House and Senatorial Oversight Committee members. Over 28 years of service, Maura served multiple overseas tours, and has extensive experience working with foreign and US corporate partners to advance United States Government goals in the areas of political risk, foreign intelligence partnerships, counterterrorism, and emerging technical and other threats. Maura has been recognized by CIA with 2 Meritorious Unit Citations and 20 individual Exceptional Performance Awards, as well as one Officer of the Year award, and receipt of CCI’s annual Innovation Award (2019). 

Maura graduated from the University of Scranton in 1990 with both B.A. and M.A. degrees in History, with Middle East concentration. In spring 2016, she earned her Executive MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management; in March 2020 she completed Harvard University’s ‘Managing Risk in the Information Age’s 12 week Certificate Program.

Maura has served on the Board of Directors of Chicago-based software consultancy 8th Light, Inc. 2016-2020, and is currently Chair of this Board. She is proud to be spouse to Ben, mother to 4 grown children, and grandmother to 5.