Pardee Works: Careers in Intelligence Agencies

From left to right: John Woodward Jr, Jack Weinstein, and Joseph Wippl.

To kick off the academic year, the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University hosted a Pardee Works event, showcasing insiders’ insights into intelligence careers on September 28, 2023.

The panel featured Pardee School professors with distinguished careers in the intelligence community, including: Professor Joseph Wippl, a former overseas Central Intelligence Agency officer; Professor John Woodward Jr., a former overseas Central Intelligence Agency officer; and Professor Jack Weinstein, a retired Lieutenant General in the United States Air Force. The panel was hosted by Career Services at Pardee, and co-moderated by Anthony Blevans, a Pardee student and 2023-2024 Dean’s Ambassador, and Sonia Liang, Director of Career Services,

The panelists discussed their careers and the necessary skills prospective hires would need if they were to work in the intelligence community — including resilience, strong writing skills, and a sense of humor. They agreed that a career in intelligence was not a straight line, and instead, explained that the intelligence community sought a diverse host of candidates with backgrounds ranging from linguistics to engineering.

Attending students asked questions about the intelligence community’s job prospects, to which the panelists responded that students follow their interests, rather than hunt for a job in the easiest field. The panelists advised that student build expertise in their preferred field and transfer their skills when a role becomes open.

The Pardee Works series focuses on bringing professionals currently working in the diverse field of global studies to present for and network with Pardee School students. In addition to the annual Pardee Works career symposium, recent Pardee Works talks have covered topics including working in the national security and defense industrieswomen in U.S. national security,  career opportunities at the CIA and DIA, and careers with the U.S. Department of Commerce.