The Lawfare Podcast: Abigail Spanberger and Elissa Slotkin from CIA to Congress

Jen Patja, David Priess, Abigail Spanberger, Elissa Slotkin
Friday, November 5, 2021, 12:00 PM

Published by The Lawfare Institute
in Cooperation With
Brookings

Only twice in history have two women who served as CIA officers been elected to Congress. The first time was 2018, and the second was 2020—both of them featuring Abigail Spanberger and Elissa Slotkin. David Priess hosted an event for the Michael V. Hayden Center at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government, speaking with both of them about their careers, both in the intelligence community and in Congress. Abigail Spanberger represents Virginia's 7th congressional district and was a CIA operations officer from 2006 to 2014. Elissa Slotkin represents Michigan's 8th congressional district. She served as a CIA analyst, as well as a National Security Council staffer and Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs. They talked about joining CIA, their experiences there, leaving the intel world, how their CIA experiences help them as legislators, and a few pressing national security issues.


Jen Patja is the editor and producer of The Lawfare Podcast and Rational Security. She currently serves as the Co-Executive Director of Virginia Civics, a nonprofit organization that empowers the next generation of leaders in Virginia by promoting constitutional literacy, critical thinking, and civic engagement. She is the former Deputy Director of the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at James Madison's Montpelier and has been a freelance editor for over 20 years.
David Priess is Director of Intelligence at Bedrock Learning, Inc. and a Senior Fellow at the Michael V. Hayden Center for Intelligence, Policy, and International Security. He served during the Clinton and Bush 43 administrations as a CIA officer and has written two books: “The President’s Book of Secrets,” about the top-secret President’s Daily Brief, and "How To Get Rid of a President," describing the ways American presidents have left office.
Abigail Spanberger represents Virginia's 7th congressional district in the House of Representatives, is one of the few members of Congress to have served as an operations officer at the Central Intelligence Agency.
Elissa Slotkin represents Michigan's 8th congressional district. She served as a CIA analyst, as well as a National Security Council staffer and Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs.

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